Tuesday, December 13 (or Earlier): A Day of Fast and Abstinence

December 7th, 2016 by Gabriel McAuliffe

St. John of the Cross by Francisco de Zurbarán

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

For all Discalced Carmelites, Wednesday, December 14 is the Solemnity of Saint John of the Cross. We may fast and abstain on Tuesday, December 13 but we cannot make tomorrow, December 8 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) or Sunday, December 11 (the Lord’s Day) or Monday, December 12 (Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe) a day of fast and abstinence. So if a person is not able to do so next Tuesday, one must honor St. John’s place on the Carmelite calendar with one day of fast and abstinence today, December 7 or Friday, December 9 or Saturday, December 10 (see below).

For residents of the Diocese of Sacramento, Our Lady of Guadalupe is our secondary patroness. Thus, Monday, December 12th is a solemnity. There can be no fast or abstinence on this day. We honor her with joy and feasting as sons and daughters of Sacramento, of the Americas, and of Carmel.

From the Provinicial Statutes (rev. December 18, 2013):

1. Fast and abstinence:

a) In addition to the days of fasting and abstinence proper to the Church in the United States and in response to the encouragement of our Bishops “to prepare for each Church festival by a day of particular self-denial, penitential prayer and fasting” and to our Carmelite traditions, our members, unless excused by reason of illness or age, will fast on the vigils of the following feast days:

1. Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)

2. Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19)

3. Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus (October 15)

4. Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross (December 14)

5. The Prophet Elijah (July 20)

6. St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (October 1)

7. All the Saints of the Order (November 14).

b) For sufficient reason, the above special fast days may be anticipated. Anticipation should never involve fasting on Sundays or Holy Days [cf. Canon Law 1249-1253].

Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain


Posted in Carmelite Spirituality

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