Yes, you read that headline right. Carry LENT into EASTER.
So here are the strategies I use to keep Fridays penitential.
1. Avoid meat and going out on Fridays.
This used to be SO EASY when I was dating. Friday nights are now date nights (typically). Going out, regardless of what I’m eating, just doesn’t seem penitential at all. I mean, someone brings the food to me!
2. Spend some extra time in prayer on Fridays, particularly at 3 p.m.
3. Go to daily Mass.
4. Can’t make it to Mass? Liturgy of the Hours!
5. Examination of conscience.
Holy Days of obligation…. the Catholic Church seems to be the only one (among so many others) that has Holy Days of Obligation.
We have feasts, solemnities, memorials…
Which of these are obligatory?
Well, the most important is Sunday.
Every Sunday is a Holy Day of obligation.
Here’s what the Catechism says.
2192 “Sunday … is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.”
1389 “The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season.”
There you go. That’s the end of that, right?
No. Nice try.
2177 “The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life.”
This is so important it’s one of the PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH.
The first precept: “You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.”
According to the Catechism, there are five precepts, though just a quick search of the Internet shows some think there are more. (The Church really doesn’t demand much from us.)
Alright, so Sunday, get to it. Go to Mass. Easy.
What about these Holy Days they speak of?
These days vary in the different Rites and by country.
In the United States, it even varies by diocese.
According to EWTN, beside Sunday (every Sunday), the Holy Days of obligation in the U.S. are:
1) January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
2) Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
3) August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
4) November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
5) December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
6) December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Canon lists 10 for the universal Church, including the six above plus:
The Epiphany, Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul.
(I was at Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ by accident… a nice accident. I didn’t even look at my Catholic calendar and just went to Mass that day.)
Anyway, in Hawaii, the only Holy Days are the Nativity (Christmas) and the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
Interesting, but local rule by Bishops and conference is another topic.
If any of the Holy Days occur on a Saturday or a Monday, they are typically transferred to the following or preceding Sunday (so you don’t have to go two days in a row).
I have a few saints I depend on for prayer and help regularly, and I like to go to Mass on their memorial days. It’s another, special chance to say thank you for their hard work on my behalf.
I know St. Joseph was behind me finding my current job. St. Matthias is constantly coming up on my petitions. My guardian angel as well, during the feast of the guardian angels.
There are all sorts of Marian holidays and celebrations all over the calendar. Depending on your priest, he may choose to celebrate those memorials on selected weekdays or the major memorials.
I think if you’re close with your priest, you can ask and he’d oblige you.
These days all start to mean something with a serious Catholic calendar (that you look at!). But all the dates can be found online as well.
Check out earlier Learn something posts:
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Special intention list for the weekend:
For my mom’s continued recovery from a recent stay in the hospital and investigative surgery
For marriage in general, for everyone’s marriage in particular
I’m at a journalism conference today. Just a one-day ethics conference on … ethics in journalism. I’m excited to see other professionals and hear what the panelists have to say.
Sometimes, I think I get into my job, that I don’t look at the bigger picture. I hope today helps that a little.
I also can’t wait to bring everything back to work on Monday and share with my coworkers. That’ll be the best part, to discuss with them what went on.
Easter was fabulous, wasn’t it? I was just.. full of joy. Beautiful. I love seeing the church packed (even though I get distracted!), I love seeing the usher ask people to move into the rows further. Quit sitting at the ends and leaving empty seats! You know how this works.
I had brunch with my family. That was nice. Then I spent the rest of the day relaxing, enjoying. It was beautiful outside, too.
We had elections on Tuesday… so I was up at 6 a.m. for a meeting with some parents about a school issue, then I was in the office until midnight finalizing our paper. That was pretty crazy.
My sleep is still off. I’m hoping to make it up this afternoon. We’ll see.
I got a flyer for Relevant Radio.
I donate frequently. Not a lot of money, but frequently. When I see I have some extra money, I try to send it out. Or to Life Site News. Or some other Catholic media company.
Or even the animal shelter I drive by sometimes.
Anyway, I am thinking about becoming a dollar-a-day donor.
I was looking at how much I gave over the past two years. It wasn’t a lot, and not up to $365, but I think I could do it.
I could pay quarterly, or monthly even. That would be an OK deal. I think I could handle it.
I’m kind of nervous to make the commitment, though I know it would be a good thing.
I haven’t cooked anything in a while.
Well, I made some eggs and sausage this morning. It was good.
I did the same yesterday.
But I haven’t got my hands dirty making something that I needed to follow a recipe for (however loosely I choose to follow it).
I miss it. And it hasn’t even been that long! Maybe a week!
I’ll get back to it next week.
Also, I haven’t made espresso in a while. I kind of just don’t want to do the work.
I know, lazy.
Also, I didn’t have any syrup for the coffee… so, it just kind of fell away.
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