Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All the Fridays in the year...

ab·sti·nence n.

1. The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite, as for food.
2. Abstention from alcoholic beverages.

[Middle English, from Old French abstenance, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinns, abstinent- present participle of abstinre, to hold back. See abstain.]

fast intr.v. fast·ed, fast·ing, fasts
1. To abstain from food.
2. To eat very little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.


1. The act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food.
2. A period of such abstention or self-denial.

A little while back, when I was last in Whakatane, I found a copy of the Book of Common Prayer in the local second-hand store, so decided on a whim to splash out (10c) and buy it. It’s been sitting on my desk, unloved since then.

But today I decided to look at it. A confusing wee book it is, intended no doubt or those scholarly Pastor types, and not designed to be easily digested by a DVD junkie.

I did find something though that seemed straight forward on page 31: Days of Fasting or Abstinence.

It appears that ‘All the Fridays in the year, except Christmas Day’ (who would want to fast on that day!) are supposed to be a day of fasting.


That’s every Friday. Once a week? That must be a mistake right? Or does this just apply to the Church of England? (though I can’t remember any Sunday School stories back in the day about fasting on a Friday).

I think I’ll just have to ignore page 31 unless some scholarly person can shed some light on the history or significance of Friday fasting.


servant said...

Hey buddy, I understand why it happens, but I did a search to find somewhere that offers a nice readable approach to the subject. So check this out:

onscreen said...

Thanks for that Frank - the whole Fish thing is interesting, especially when to buy a decent bit of fresh fish is often more expensive then meat. Maybe your house's idea of a meatless Monday is an fasting option for us on a Friday... I'll have to think on this a bit more.

BJ said...

I fast from work on Fridays...

But not food :)

Thankfully, I'm not a scholarly pastoral type...

onscreen said...

So what days do you work.... ;o)