A few random thoughts on fish days....
It isn't actually necessary to assume that because
today is a Friday in 2005, it corresponds to Friday in
1275 or whatever (in fact, because of the calendar
issues, it probably doesn't....)
When did Saturday become a day of abstinence in the
West? In the early Church, Wednesday and Friday were
the fast days, as they still are in the Orthodox
Church. So whether you abstain from meat on Saturday
depends not only on where in Europe but when.
Was a fast day counted from midnight to midnight, as
now, or from Vespers or sundown the night before?
A pious Christian should not have been attending a
party during Lent (or the Nativity or Pentecost fasts)
anyhow. If he did, though, the hospitality rule would
supercede the fasting: you eat what you are served,
not put the host to extra trouble to accommodate your
fasting. And if you happen to be the host, and others
in your party are not fasting,well, interpretations
vary. Ask your priest. And then too, if you were
travelling the fasting requirements would be relaxed
to some extent.
--- msgilliandurham <msgilliandurham@...
> Dairy products and eggs, as far as I can figure out,
> were allowed
> on "fish days" except in Lent, and maybe Advent. I'm
> still trying to
> figure that out -- anybody have a good source?
I believe that is correct for Western Europe in later
period, based on the recipes for "tarts in Ember Day"
which include eggs and dairy. (Ember days by
definition fall on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.) I
seem also to recall references in cookbooks to "fish
days not in Lent" which imply that eggs and dairy
would be acceptable.
So there are plenty of ways not to fast during events
while being a pious and observant medieval Roman
Catholic. (Or Eastern Orthodox.) If you need to
observe the fasting regulations mundanely, well,
that's beyond the limits of this list, although I
would be interested in discussing it offlist with
anyone who has dealt with the issue.
That said, an authentic Ember Day feast would be a lot
of fun, at least once.
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