The Rule of 1221 – Chapter II – Abstinence

RULE: ARTICLE 6

6. All are to abstain from meat save on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, except on account of illness or weakness, for three days at blood-letting, in traveling, or on account of a specially high feast intervening, namely, the Nativity for three days, New Year’s, Epiphany, the Pasch of the Resurrection for three days, Assumption of the glorious Virgin Mary, the solemnity of All Saints and of St. Martin. On the other days, when there is no fasting, they may eat cheese and eggs. But when they are with religious in their convent homes, they have leave to eat what is served to them. And except for the feeble, the ailing, and those traveling, let them be content with dinner and supper. Let the healthy be temperate in eating and drinking.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 6

a. For penitents, all Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are days of abstinence (that is, meatless days) unless directed otherwise by a physician or spiritual director or confessor. Meat is allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Soups or casseroles with some meat are permissible if you are at a social gathering or do not have control over the menu.

b. Abstinence will follow current Church regulations, and are listed in Appendix A.

c.Penitents may eat three meals daily throughout the year. Beverages may be taken at any time.

d.Except for Sundays and Solemnities, between meal snacks of solid food should be avoided except for acts of charity, special occasions, or family gatherings.

e. At all times, penitents should be temperate in eating and drinking.

f. In their own homes, penitents should attempt to prepare foods that other household members enjoy rather than satisfying themselves, and should keep their fasting and abstinence invisible, that is between God and themselves.

g. In order to be hospitable, penitents may eat what they prepare for guests, or what is placed before them if they are with others.

h. When eating with others in a group setting, the penitent should try to allow others to choose their foods first.

i. Travelers while in transit to their destinations and those who are ill, weak, pregnant, or breastfeeding are exempt from following the abstinence provisions of this Rule as they relate to fasting and abstinence.

RULE: ARTICLE 7

7. Before their dinner and supper let them say the Lord’s Prayer once, likewise after their meal, and let them give thanks to God. Otherwise let them say three Our Fathers.

STATUTES: ARTICLE 7

a. Before and after meals, let the penitents reverently say either their regular meal prayer, or the Lord’s Prayer once, and let all give thanks to God. If they forget they are to say three Our Father’s. These prayers may be prayed out loud or silently with head bowed unless to do so would either be dangerous to the penitent or highly offensive to the company kept.