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'Quick Help' Page: Penitential Days of the Week (Traditional)

 

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Penitential Days

Penitential Days Each Week

Weekly Penitential Days

Traditional Penitential Days

Fast | Fasting

Abstain | Abstinence

Penance

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Arrow Question / Issue:

What are some traditional penitential days of the week outside of Lent?

 

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Outside of Lent, Wednesday & Friday have traditionally been considered penitential. Friday is observed as penitential in honor of our Lord's death on Good Friday. Note that Fridays are STILL penitential in the universal Church...

"Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent." (1983 Code of Canon Law, emphasis added)

In fact, Friday penance may be considered a grave obligation.

Early Christians also kept Wednesdays as penitential days...

"Such is the impious scheme devised on this day [Spy Wednesday], within the precincts of the temple of Jerusalem. To testify her detestation at it, and to make atonement to the Son of God for the outrage thus offered Him, the holy Church, from the earliest ages, has consecrated the Wednesday of every week to penance. In our own times, the fast of Lent begins on a Wednesday; and when the Church ordained that we should commence each of the four seasons of the year with fasting, Wednesday was chosen to be one of the three days thus consecrated to bodily mortification." (Dom Gueranger)

Other days have also been penitential. For example...

"In order that we may do penance each week, and especially on Friday, in honour of the Passion, and on Saturdays in memory of the burial of Jesus Christ, and in honour of the Blessed Virgin." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

Note: For other traditional times of fasting/abstinence, try here.


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Other Resources:

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Catholic Calendar (Topic Page)

Fasting (Topic Page)

Catholic Basics Section

 

  

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