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Author Topic: Lenten Periods in the Roman Catholic Church?  (Read 843 times) Average Rating: 0
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Basil 320
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« on: August 13, 2010, 01:18:09 AM »

Are these "15 Days of August" a lenten period for the Roman Catholics?  The "Little Italy" neighborhood in my area, surrounding the long time Roman Catholic Holy Rosary Church, celebrates "the Feast," as it's referred to in the local secular community, with a 4 day festival, 3 of which are before the feast day, and includes eating meat, and drinking alcohol, etc.  Is this period considered a lenten period, perhaps more relaxed than the Lent before Easter?  If not today, is there an older tradition that this period was a lenten period in the Roman Catholic Church?

Also, how about Advent?  I thought I'd read that it is supposed to be a lenten period, more relaxed than Lent before Easter (contemplative, preparatory), but in practice, the lenten period is ignored. 

Any knowledge of how the Roman Catholic Church treats or treated these periods?
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 02:40:46 AM »

Unfortunately, Roman Catholics have largely given up obligatory fasting.  When I was a kid, Catholics fasted from meat on Fridays and during Lent; they gave up the Friday fast after Vatican II, and nowadays, only fast on the Fridays in Lent.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 03:59:57 AM »

In the pre-Reformation past in England the Advent fast was kept strictly and was known as St Martin's Lent because it started at St Martinstide on November 11th. It had been kept in the West since the 4th century. I don't know when, between the 15th/16th century and now, the Roman Catholic Church relaxed all of the fasting rules.

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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 10:45:49 AM »

In the pre-Reformation past in England the Advent fast was kept strictly and was known as St Martin's Lent because it started at St Martinstide on November 11th. It had been kept in the West since the 4th century. I don't know when, between the 15th/16th century and now, the Roman Catholic Church relaxed all of the fasting rules.

Father Peter

There are still many devout Catholics of the Latin rite who keep the St. Martin's fast in a strict manner. The name of the St. Martin's fast and its history is still taught in religious classes so children learn that history as well.  There are no longer strict rules for how to keep the fast but the idea that Advent is a penitential season is not a stranger in the Latin rite. 

There's not a whole lot of pouring of ashes on ones head so to speak, so it is not visible as it once was,  but the teaching is not lost entirely and each year I hear more and more people locally talking about the St. Martin's fast.  There actually is an informal sense among some Catholics that fasting is more important that the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council indicated and they are returning to it voluntarily.  I think it would be an error to discount those people.

Mary
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 11:14:13 AM »

If by "Roman Catholics" the OP means Catholics of the Latin rite, then no, the Dormition fast is not followed (except the ones Mary has described).

However, Catholics of most of the Eastern rites (like my Ruthenian parish, and also the Romanian Catholic mission which recently joined us there  Cool) do indeed observe it. 

My husband is looking forward to having bacon and eggs again next week.   Grin
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 11:22:49 AM »

The Dormition fast is very Eastern. I know the Nestorians have it, as well. Probably the Miaphysites have it, too.
The Catholics have the so called "quatuor tempora", a very specific Western thing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ember_days
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 02:27:31 PM »

The Dormition fast is very Eastern.

I recall reading that ROCOR's latin rite parishes/monasteries observe some kind of Dormition fast.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 04:04:32 PM »

This link will mention the fasting periods in the old tradition of the Roman Catholic Church:  http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Fasting_and_Abstinence_in_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

Besides the Advent and Lenten Fast there were the Ember Days, and the fast for vigils of specific feasts.  There was also, the rogation Days:  
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13110b.htm
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 04:12:51 PM »

The Dormition fast is very Eastern. I know the Nestorians have it, as well. Probably the Miaphysites have it, too.
The Catholics have the so called "quatuor tempora", a very specific Western thing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ember_days


Ember and Rogation days are still kept by traditional Roman or Latin rite Catholics...yes.

M.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 07:24:28 PM »

The Dormition fast is very Eastern.

I recall reading that ROCOR's latin rite parishes/monasteries observe some kind of Dormition fast.
With all due respect, but a few ROCOR parishes are not really the best indicator of what is the Western fasting tradition.
It's a  Byzantinization, for sure, like their insertion of the epiklesis in the Roman canon.
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 03:25:11 AM »

Thank you for the information in your replies.
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