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Bible Dictionaries
Law of Abstinence

1910 New Catholic Dictionary

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Regards only quality of food, is binding on all those who have completed their seventh year, and forbids the eating of flesh-meat or soup made from meat, but not the use of eggs, milk, butter, cheese, or of condiments made from animal fat. The prohibition against eating fish and flesh at the same meal has been abolished. The regulations do not affect special indults, or obligations imposed by vow or by the rules of religious or of communities not bound by vow. Local ordinaries may appoint a special day of abstinence for their own territories. They and parish priests can for just reasons dispense from abstinence persons or families subject to them, and also travelers who happen to be within their territories. An ordinary can dispense the entire diocese or a particular locality for reasons of public health. Abstinence is obligatory in English-speaking countries on the days mentioned below.

United States: Fridays; ember-days; vigils of Pentecost, Assumption, All Saints, and Christmas; Ash Wednesday; Saturdays of Lent. The obligation is suspended on Holy Saturday at noon and on all feasts of precept, except those falling on week-days in Lent; and on vigils which fall on a Sunday, there is no abstinence on the Sunday or on the preceding Saturday.

Canada: Fridays, except those on which may occur the feasts of Circumcision, Epiphany, All Saints, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas; ember-days; those vigils which are also fast days; Wednesdays of Lent; and Holy Saturday until noon.

England and Wales: Fridays, except holy days of obligation and December 26,; Wednesdays in Lent; ember Saturday in Lent; ember Wednesdays; vigils of Assumption, All Saints, and Christmas, except when these feasts fall on a Sunday or Monday.

Scotland: Fridays; ember Wednesdays; vigils of Assumption, All Saints, and Christmas, except when they fall on a Saturday or Sunday; Ash Wednesday; ember Saturday in Lent; up to noon on Holy Saturday. Except in Lent a holy day of obligation is never a day of abstinence.

Ireland: Fridays; ember-days; Ash Wednesday; Saturdays of Lent; eves of Christmas, Pentecost, Assumption, and All Saints.

Bishops may transfer the abstinence from Saturday to Wednesday during Lent. Flesh-meat is allowed at the principal meal on ember Saturdays, outside of Lent, and on vigils which immediately precede or follow a Friday or other day of abstinence. On Holy Saturday the obligation of abstinence ceases at midday. If a holy day of obligation falls on a day of abstinence, outside of Lent, the obligation of abstinence is removed. On Saint Patrick's Day the obligation of abstinence is also removed.

Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Law of Abstinence'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​ncd/​l/law-of-abstinence.html. 1910.
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