"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ"

"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ"
"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ" according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider: 1. Mass versus populum. 2. Communion in the hand. 3. The Novus Ordo Offertory prayers. 4. Disappearance of Latin in the Ordinary Form. 5. Liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women and ministers in lay clothing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Shrove Tuesday


I took the opportunity to be 'shriven' this past Saturday morning. I've always liked that word 'shriven'. I have very vivid memories of the lively celebrations of Carnival in Cologne and the Rhineland where I lived for many years. The one thing that always amazed me was that in many places where Carnival is celebrated it's become nothing more than an opportunity for sin and hedonistic indulgence for people who have no intention of giving up anything for Lent let alone offending almighty God.

I've always liked this work by Bruegel, "The fight between carnival and Lent". If you get a chance to see view it up close it's quite extraordinary (Click on the picture to enlarge it). It's very full of symbolism. If you look closely in the upper right hand corner you can see penitents leaving the Church (after having been shriven). I hope most of you had the opportunity to go to confession today or are planning to do so soon.

The Lenten rigours begin tomorrow. The current law of the Church obliges us to fast and abstain from meat on only two days Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and Good Friday as well as abastaining from all meat on all the fridays of Lent. I gave up meat long ago in order to live a more simple life so I try to fast more during Lent and to give up dairy and eggs on the fridays of lent (as is the custom in the eastern rite churches). If any of you need any recipes for making lenten fare, I would be most happy to send them to you.
The Code of Canon Law states that Fridays throughout the year and in the time of Lent are penitential days for the entire Church. Although fasting usually refers to any practice of restricting food, there is a distinction, in the Church, between fast (limiting food to one full meal a day, with two smaller meals allowed) and abstinence (abstaining from eating meat.) Abstinence from meat on Fridays as the universal form of penance on all Fridays is no longer mandatory. We may choose another way of observing the Church's requirement for acts of penance on Fridays, but we are not to neglect it, either.
Since the change in the abstinence rules, some people have become confused about the requirement to observe penitential days. As a result, the discipline of fasting (or abstaining from meat) or any form of regular penance has all but disappeared. Confession, or the Sacrament of Penance (or Reconciliation) has sharply declined, as well.
Both fast and abstinence are required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. For the record, rules of the Church in the United States about fasting and abstinence in effect since 1966 state that:
"Catholics in the United States are obliged to abstain from the eating of meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during the season of Lent. They are also obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Self-imposed observance of fasting on all weekdays of Lent is strongly recommended. Abstinence from flesh meat on all Fridays of the year [excluding solemnities like Christmas which may fall on Friday] is especially recommended to individuals and to the Catholic community as a whole." (ref. Canons 1249-1253, Code of Canon Law)

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Thanks for this post..