Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve Fast, et al.

Although it is not in the '79 American book, traditionally Christmas Eve is a day of fasting for Anglicans, as this calendar from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer shows. The fast ends with either the First Evening Prayer, or the first mass of Christmas (whichever comes first).  


This was one of a number of fasts throughout the year.
If there is a day of fast on any other Major Feast, there is no fast (except for the communion fast), but there is still a degree of abstinence. Such days were traditionally fish days, fish not usually being eaten on fast days.  

The Pre-Reformation Church also observed abstinence throughout Advent and Lent, including the Sundays, with Fish on the Rose Sundays, i.e., Gaudete (III Advent) and Laetare (IX Lent).