Here is this week’s installment of “Five Faith Friday” which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.
Which Short Film I’m Rewatching —
“The Veil Removed” which is a short (7 minute) film that reveals the coming together of heaven and earth at Mass, as seen by saints and mystics, revealed by scripture and in the catechism of the Catholic Church. This video beautifully articulates what happens at every Catholic Mass.
What I Am Reflecting On —
Fasting. Specifically fasting before Mass (i.e., the Eucharistic Fast). Last week I received a lot of feedback from people who didn’t realize that Catholics are supposed to fast (see: abstain) from meat every Friday of the year:
- “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 … ” (Code of Canon Law #1251)
I started getting curious and did some research on another fast, this one under condition of mortal sin – the Eucharistic fast. What is the Eucharistic fast?
- “Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from all food and drink, with the sole exception of water and medicine.” (Code of Canon Law #919)
Jewish custom frequently involved fasting so the early Christian community embraced this concept too. We know that as early as the 3rd century there were writings about how the Eucharist was the bread that Christians ate before taking any other food. For the longest time, Catholics were required to fast from everything (including water!) from midnight on. Then in 1957 it was changed to a 3 hour fast before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. It was changed one more time in 1964 where went down to a 1 hour fast. So in summary, make sure that you fast from everything (gum, coffee, juice, breakfast, etc.) minus water and medicine 1 hour prior to receiving Communion. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do more. Never settle for the bare minimum.
What I’m Preparing For —
The Sacred Triduum. Every parish has a number of activities at this time of year. Typically parishes have additional times for confession, adoration, a Mass of the Lord’s Supper, a Good Friday Liturgy, and of course the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses. My suggestion is to take advantage of the extra opportunities for prayer, worship, and unification with the Lord. If you are looking for things to do with your family at home, Father Blake Britton of The Burrowshire Podcast put together a wonderful home guide for families last year.
What My Family Is Doing —
Besides attending some our parish’s celebrations, we have other activities that we do to help us appreciate the magnitude of the triduum. Here is a list of ideas if you are looking for suggestions:
- Spy Wednesday:
- Read Matthew 26:1-16
- Hide 30 quarters (think: silver pieces) for the children to find
- Watch the Triduum video on Formed.org
- Pray the rosary
- Holy Thursday:
- Read Matthew 26:17-75
- Bake bread
- Partake in the Seven Churches Visitation during the day, even for a decade of the rosary or a short prayer
- Watch “The Gospel of John” free on Amazon Prime up through the activities of Holy Thursday
- Good Friday:
- Read Matthew 27:11-66
- Display a crucifix prominently
- Partake in “The Stations of the Cross” (link is a great kids version from Catholic Kids Media from a great young Catholic – Isabella!)
- Watch “The Gospel of John” where you left off Holy Thursday
- Hammer nails into wood
- Watch “The Passion of the Christ” free on Amazon Prime
Which Article I Read —
“Polish Catholic family, killed by Nazis for helping Jews, on path to beatification” It’s about Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma (check out a great bio about them here) who acted heroically in an effort to protect Jews from the hands of the Nazis. Whether they end up being canonized or not I don’t know. What I do know is that I always appreciate hearing stories of those living out the Christian life and imitating Christ. In a world where most people look up to celebrities, athletes, and musicians, we need Saints who are the true role models we should seek to imitate.
Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!