Lent? Fast? 1917? What, Why?

Let’s fast like it is 1917! With others! Join a community devoted to fasting the way Catholics were called to fast during Lent throughout the majority of the 20th century.

The year marks a century since the publication of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first official comprehensive guide created for the Roman Catholic Church; it governed the faithful for 65 years from 1918-1983!

This document was monumental for the Church in so many ways, not least what it prescribed for Roman Catholics in terms of fasting, particularly during Lent.

In the 1917 Code, Catholics were obligated to fast every day during Lent, except Sundays! 

That means that many of our Catholic great-grandparents, grandparents and parents remember a time when they were called to fast nearly every day of Lent — much like our Lord did to prepare and gird Himself against temptation, master His human nature and prepare the way for His public ministry.

Today, fasting the entirety of Lent sounds beyond human – and it is! We need God, each and every day to be successful, and fasting makes that abundantly clear; only with God are all things possible, especially a 40 day fast.  Knowing others, especially a close friend or family member, are fasting with you, also is a great grace that can help us persevere. 🙂

This site is designed for those seeking a deeper Lenten observance – one that pushes beyond the bare minimums, the requirements, the norms and closer to God and self-mastery.

We live in an age of great temptation – so much is within a few touches of a screen in our pockets – that it is vital to remember our Lord fasted 40 days and 40 nights when He was tempted!

Think no more about “what to give up” for Lent.  Sign up and receive daily prayer, inspiration and updates from the blog, so we can grow in virtue and solidarity with one another along the way, and better imitate our Lord during His 40 days in the desert.

There is much to gain by going back to move forward in the spiritual life. Food and meals are always a time when people come together, so shouldn’t fasting be the same?

48 thoughts on “Lent? Fast? 1917? What, Why?”

  1. Hello again,
    As lent draws nearer I was just wondering if you will be posting again this year? I really hope so. I’m sure it is a lot of work but I got so much out of it and I’m sure others did as well!
    God bless you.


  2. Some comments about your article, “1917 Fast: The Specifics for 2018”. Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, there was no provision for the fulfillment of Sunday Mass obligations on a Saturday evening. Saturdays were therefore a full day of fast and complete abstinence. The Ember Day following the First Sunday of Lent was also a day of complete fast and abstinence. The modification of this law so that Ember Days and Saturdays became days of fasting and partial (rather than complete) abstinence was not enacted by US bishops until 1949. Furthermore, this applied only to the USA, not to the rest of the Church. In 1955, Pope Pius XII extended the end of Lent by 12 hours (no longer ending at noon on Holy Saturday). Lastly, a Solemnity did not negate Lenten observance the way it does today. Under the 1917 Law, a Solemnity within Lent that did not fall on a Sunday was still a day of fast and abstinence (complete or partial as dictated by the day of the week).


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