Shrovetide – Fat (Pancake) Tuesday –As Carnivale’ Comes To An End –  On Fish Eaters – Recipes and Tradition

Shrovetide Poster


Why Ash Wednesday? Why Ashes?- Ash Wednesday Catholics proclaim their Faith in the public square – On Return To Order

Lent Historically and Practically-Lent is a period marked by a spirit of penance

Preparing through 40 days in the dessert in order to enter the promise land – reliving the Body of Christ’s 40 days

Guidelines for the Traditional Rite penitential practices

Here are the traditional rules of fast and abstinence as observed per the 1962 liturgical calendar and outlined in Canons 1250-1254 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Who was bound to observe these laws?

  • The law of abstinence bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 7th birthday.
  • The law of fasting bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 21st birthday and ending at the midnight which completed their 59th birthday. [Note: The USA’s particular law has lowered the obligatory fasting age to 18.]

What was forbidden and allowed to be eaten?

  • The law of abstinence forbade the eating of flesh meat and of broth made of meat, but did not exclude the use of eggs, dairy products, or seasonings made from the fat of animals.
  • The law of fasting prescribed that only one full meal a day was taken with two smaller meals that did not equal the main one.
  • As to the kind of food and the amount that might be taken, the approved customs of the place were to be observed. It was not forbidden to eat both flesh meat and fish at the same meal, nor to interchange the midday and evening meals.

In the Universal Church

  • Abstinence was obligatory on all Fridays, except on Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent.

Fasting and complete abstinence were obligatory on the following days:

  • Ash Wednesday
  • Fridays and Saturdays in Lent
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday (until midnight 1)
  • Ember Days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • Vigil of Christmas
  • [NB: both the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and All Saints were omitted from the 1962 calendar]

Partial abstinence

Fasting and partial abstinence were obligatory on all other weekdays of Lent (i.e., Monday through Thursday—Friday was always complete abstinence); this meant that meat could be eaten at the principal meal on these days.

Some further clarifications to universal laws

There are few more distinctions to take into account fasting and abstaining when a usual fast day was in concurrence with a Sunday (always a non-fast day):

  • Sundays throughout the year and Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent cancelled the fasting and/or abstinence of any penitential day which coincided.
  • If a fast-day Vigil fell on Sunday, the fasting and abstinence associated with the Vigil were not anticipated on the Saturday, but dropped altogether that year.

Particular rules observed in the USA

On January 28, 1949, the United States bishops issued a statement modifying the regulations of fasting and abstinence in America (thus differing slightly from the universal laws) after receiving a ruling from the Sacred Congregation of the Council.

Fasting and partial abstinence was obligatory on the following days:

  • Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • all other weekdays of Lent including Saturdays

Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, might be taken at any time on a day of fast, but “other works of charity, piety, and prayer for the pope should be substituted” to compensate for this relaxation.

In 1931, Pope Pius XII gave an indult to the American bishops allowing them to dispense with Abstinence on any penitential day that was a civic holiday and on the Friday that followed Thanksgiving Day. (Canon Law Digest, vol. 1.)

The United States bishops had the faculties to dispense the faithful from the obligation to fast and abstain on penitential days that fell on civic holidays.

Holy Days of Obligation in the USA

A Holy Day of Obligation is a day on which we are bound to hear Mass and to abstain from servile works. In the USA, the Holy Days of Obligation are:

  • All Sundays
  • Octave Day of the Nativity ( January 1)
  • Ascension Day
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
  • Feast of All Saints (November 1)
  • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)


  1. MORNING LOW MASSES DURING LENT – This is a reminder that Holy Innocents will have a morning Low Mass at 8AM from Monday through Friday during the holy season of Lent.

The goal is to make it easier for more parishioners to attend the traditional Mass daily during the holy season of Lent (as a good spiritual preparation for Holy Week and Easter), especially those who are not able to attend the 6PM Mass

From antiquity, Christians have practiced penance on Wednesdays (the day Our Lord was betrayed) and Fridays (when Christ was crucified).  Wednesdays and Fridays remain days of penance in most Eastern Catholic Churches (and among the Orthodox), and in some monastic and religious communities of the Roman Church.  Catholics observe Fridays as weekly penitential days on which abstinence from meat and other forms are expected as the norm.

Lenten Embertide (Wednesday, March 8, Friday, March 10, & Saturday, March 11); partial abstinence Monday thru Thursday (meat can be eaten at the principal meal on these days.)

Days of Fasting: (One full meal is permitted and two other meals may be taken which, when combined, are less than a full meal; no eating in between meals but  liquids are allowed, including milk and fruit juices).

Traditional:   All days of Lent including Holy Week except Sundays and Feasts of the 1st  Class (Solemnities)

To be excused from fasting/abstinence for pregnancy, hard labor, hypoglycemia, diabetics, etc., one should request a dispensation form his/her pastor.  The obligation to fast and abstain is a serious one and should not be taken lightly!  Penance serves to rectify our self-centeredness, to make up for sins (our own and those of others), to strengthen our wills and to guide us in the steps of our Savior. It can be a very pure form of love for God, and can be offered up for the conversion of sinners and the relief of the souls in Purgatory.

  1. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – SHROVE TUESDAYOn Tuesday, February 28, after the 6PM Mass, there will be a Holy Hour in honor of the Holy Face of Jesus to make reparation for the sins committed during carnival time.
  1. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 – This coming, Wednesday, March 1, will be Ash Wednesday. There will be two traditional Masses at Holy Innocents: 8AM & 6PM.

ASH WEDNESDAY Wednesday, March 1

HOLY MASSES  N.O. 6:00, 7:00 & 7:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m. (Traditional Latin)

10:00 & 11:15 a.m.12:15, 1:15 & 5:15 p.m.

6:00 p.m. (Traditional Latin)

DISTRIBUTION OF HOLY ASHES: 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  1. THURSDAY, MARCH 2This coming Thursday, March 2, will be the first Thursday of the month. The 6PM Mass will be a Sung Votive Mass Jesus High & Eternal Priest.
  1. FRIDAY, MARCH 3 – FIRST FRIDAY – ALL NIGHT VIGIL – Friday, March 3, will be the first Friday of the month. The 6PM Mass will be a Sung Votive Mass of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. After the Mass, the first Friday all-night Vigil will continue throughout the night and conclude with a Low Mass at 5AM.
  1. SATURDAY, MARCH 4Saturday, March 4, will be the first Saturday of the month. The 1PM Mass will be a Sung Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After the Mass, the first Saturday devotions (Exposition of the Bl. Sacrament, recitation of the Holy Rosary, Fatima devotions, etc.) will take place.
  1. 40 DAYS FOR LIFEHoly Innocents commitment for the Forty Days for Life is Saturday, March 4, from 8AM to 8PM. It will be at 26 Bleecker Street (Planned Parenthood)

Although this is our commitment date, we can visit 26 Bleecker Street at any time and pray for the unborn, their mothers and the staff of Planned Parenthood.

  1. THE WAY OF THE CROSS – The devotion of the Stations of the Cross will be prayed each Friday of Lent beginning at 12:45PM (in between the 12:15 and 1:15PM Masses) and also following the 6PM traditional Mass.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pontifical Shrine – 448 East 116th Street New York, NY 10029

ASH WEDNESDAY Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM in the evening, there will be the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes and Solemn High Mass for Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Holy Lenten Season.


On Saturday, March 4, 2017 and Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 9 AM in the morning, there will be a Sung Mass in Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the privileged commemoration of the Saturday after Ash Wednesday and Lenten Feria.

Following Mass, there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Novena Prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Prayers for the Beatification of Venerable Pierre Toussaint and the Recitation of the Holy Rosary.

The First Saturday Devotion in honor of Our Lady of Fatima concludes with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the veneration of the icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a practice depicted by St. Vincent Pallotti.

The Sacrament of Penance, traditional Confession will be heard before Mass and during Eucharistic Adoration.

Fasting Guide For Traditional Eastern Catholicism is below