Saturday, May 26, 2012
Vigil of Pentecost: Fast and Partial Abstinence

Today is the Vigil for Pentecost and tomorrow we will celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit and foundation of the Church. Pentecost marks the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.

The Feast of Pentecost (i.e. Whit Sunday) is one of the principal feasts in the life of the Church.  After tomorrow's Feast and the subsequent Octave, we will conclude Pascaltide and begin the Season after Pentecost. Today's preparation should not be underestimated. 

Catholics should fast and partially abstain from meat today in order to better conform themselves to celebrate this High Holy Day of Pentecost. These fasting requirements (and abstinence from meat) were in place up until Paul VI's changes. Observing these days as fast and abstinence is part of Catholic Tradition.

Collect (Vigil of Pentecost 1954 Missal):

Let the brightness of Your glory shine upon us, Almighty God, so that the Holy Spirit, light of Your light, may strengthen the hearts of those who are reborn in Your grace. Through Our Lord . . .

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