friday penance

Last Friday 2nd March was “Family Fast Day” and offerings were handed in during the second Sunday collection which was for CAFOD.  During Lent we are asked to make a special effort to ‘abstain and offer up sacrifices in preparation for Our Lord’s passion in Holy week.  This is also an opportunity to remind ourselves about “Friday Penance”

 Friday Penance 

In accordance with the mind of the universal Church, the Bishops of England and Wales remind their people of the obligation of Friday penance and instruct them that it may be fulfilled in one or more of the following ways:

· by abstaining from meat or some other food;

· by abstaining from alcoholic drink, smoking or some form of amusement;

· by making the special effort involved in family prayer, taking part in the mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or praying the Stations of the Cross;

· by fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps by giving what is saved in this way to the needy at home and abroad;

· by making a special effort to help someone who is poor, sick, old or lonely.

The form of penance we adopt each Friday is a matter of personal choice and does not have to take the same form every Friday.  Failure to undertake this penance on a particular Friday would not constitute a sin.  However, penance is part of the life of every Christian and the intention to do penance on Friday is of obligation.