Regulations for Lent
For the Diocese of Duluth, Minn.
In this year of grace, Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls on the 21st day of February.
All days in Lent, Sunday excepted, are days of fast.
All the faithful, unless legitimately dispensed, are bound to observe the fast of Lent.
The law of fasting restricts the taking of food to one full meal towards the middle of the day, and in the evening to a collation not exceeding the fourth-part an ordinary meal, and excludes both from the full meal and the collation the use of flesh meat, eggs, and white meats, (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
By apostolic dispensation the following special privileges are granted to the faithful in the United States—
1.— The use of flesh meat is permitted at the principal meal on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, with the exception of Saturday of Ember week (Feb. 25) and Holy Saturday (April 1). Fish and meat, however, are not to be used at the same meal.
2.— The use of eggs and white meats (milk, butter, cheese, etc.) is permitted on all the days of Lent, whether at the principal meal or at the collation.
3.— A cup of coffee, tea, chocolate, or other similar drink, with a morsel of bread or a cracker may be taken in the morning.
4.— When the principal meal cannot without difficulty be had toward the middle of the day, the order of repasts may be changed—the collation taken in the morning, and the dinner or full meal taken in the evening.
5.— The use of lard, or dripping, is permitted in preparing food.
6.— Persons legitimately dispensed from the law of fasting may use flesh meat at all the meals on whatever days there is general permission for its use at the principal meal.
The precept of fasting is binding under pain of grievous sin.
The following classes of persons are dispensed from obligation of fasting: persons under the age of twenty-one years, those who have attained the age of sixty; the infirm; those who are engaged in hard labor, or exhausting duties; women who are in a state of pregnancy or are nursing children. Those who excuse themselves or seek exemption from this obligation, should satisfy their consciences that their indisposition to fasting is owing to real inability and not to a spirit of self-indulgence. In all cases of doubt they should advise with their pastor, and all who are exempt should endeavor to supply as far as they can for the non-observance of the fast by other penitential restrictions, and should in common with others devote themselves to prayer and recollection, and to acts of sorrow and compunction for sin agreeably with the spirit of the Church in this holy season.
The precept of abstinence of flesh meat is binding on all, children under the age of seven years and the sick excepted.
By special apostolic indult the use of flesh meat is again allowed on Saturdays throughout the year, except when a fast day falls on a Saturday.
Pastors will hold special exercises of devotion in their churches at appointed times during Lent. Instructions, of a practical character upon the Christian duties, the nature of the sacraments, and the preparation for their due reception, should be given on those occasions.
The devotion of the Way of the Cross will be observed in all churches and chapels, when it is possible to do so, on the Friday evenings throughout Lent.
Our Holy Father desires that an offering be made by the faithful on Good Friday for the support of the missions in the Holy Land. We recommend this work of charity to all our people.
Besides the recitation of the Rosary in the home with the whole family united in this excellent devotion, we earnestly recommend the formation of associations in the name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fruits the most abundant; conversions the most extraordinary; and outpourings of God’s grace wonderful to behold, have everywhere accompanied this last effort of our divine Lord to win the hearts of men.
Through it, priests find their missions production of great good and the people are won to God. May our deal Lord grant that every parish in the Diocese be blessed with such a holy union; for while gentiles rage and the people devise vain things; while kings stand up and princes meet together against the Lord and against his Christ, we cannot but see that God’s mercy is to triumph over all his enemies through the love His most Sacred Heart.
Bishop of DuluthNorth-Western Witness February, 1893
I altered the first sentence of these 113 year old regulations to keep you wondering. What was interesting to me was that the Bishops were well aware that the average wage-earner was working six 12-hour days of heavy manual labor for not very much money and fasting as the Church prescribed could not be done by them.