From a reader…
My wife and I recently returned to the traditional friday abstinence from meat year round.
Traditionally, would the friday abstinence from meat also apply during fridays of the whole easter season?
What about just the octave?
Congratulations for wanting to adhere to the traditional practices. Kudos.
You’ve asked a good question.
Pay attention, in the Latin Church, to can. 1251:
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
The days of the Octave of Easter are celebrated as Solemnities (in the Novus Ordo calendar). Therefore, there is no obligation for the Friday penance on this coming Friday.
The other Fridays of Eastertide are not Solemnities. This applies only to Friday in the Octave of Easter. BTW… this does not apply to the Octave of Christmas, for those days of that Octave are not counted as “Solemnities” as are those of the Easter Octave.
This is how the 1983 Code of Canon Law handles Friday in the Octave of Easter, and this applies also to those who prefer the Extraordinary Form (which did not have “Solemnities”). This year, 2020, on the traditional Roman Calendar we will have on Friday, 1 May the I Class Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. However, that being a I Class Feast doesn’t override the obligation of Friday penance unless there are other circumstances, for example it is also your parish’s patronal feast, etc. In that case… read what follows.
Can. 1245 Without prejudice to the right of diocesan bishops mentioned in can. 87, for a just cause and according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, a pastor[parish priest] can grant in individual cases a dispensation from the obligation of observing a feast day or a day of penance or can grant a commutation of the obligation into other pious works. A superior of a religious institute or society of apostolic life, if they are clerical and of pontifical right, can also do this in regard to his own subjects and others living in the house day and night.
Abstinence from meat has good reasoning behind it. For some, however, there abstinence from other things can be of great spiritual effect.
Certainly you would never abstain from reading this blog… or ordering…