The 41st canon of the council of Carthage enacted that the sacraments of the altar should be received fasting, except on the anniversary of the Lord's supper.
In this season fasting played a part, but it was not universally nor rigorously enforced.
The king consents, the saint is acclaimed, the bodies of the thirty-seven martyrs solemnly interred, and the king, after fasting five, and listening to Gregory's homilies for sixty days, is healed.
Dispensations from fasting were, however, given in case of illness.
Chants, fasting and other austerities, but there are some peculiarities of detail.
In the middle ages the nocturnal vigilia were, except in the monasteries, gradually discontinued, matins and vespers on the preceding day, with fasting, taking their place.
Among the laity, on the other hand, the ideal of holiness found realization in the observance of the ordinary principles of morality recognized by the world at large, in attendance upon the means of grace provided by the Church, in fasting at stated intervals, in eschewing various popular employments and amusements, and in almsgiving and prayer.
Attached to it all matters concerning indulgences; on the other hand, he transferred to the Congregation of the Council matters concerning the precepts of the Church such as fasting, abstinence and festivals.
Among those in the same list which are wholly or in part spurious are: "No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting day," and "No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair or shave on the Sabbath day."
In 511 the first Council of Orleans ordered that the three days preceding Ascension Day should be celebrated as rogation days with fasting and rogationes.
Luther in his Table Talk condemns them as dealing only with fasting, meats, virginity, &c. "If he only had insisted upon the works of faith and performed them!
Dorsey, again, draws a distinction between lore narratives, which can be rehearsed without fasting or prayer, and rituals which require the most rigid preparation.
It conceives salvation as a "wages" (µtc 063) to be earned or forfeited; and regards certain good works, such as prayer, fasting, alms - especially the last - as efficacious to cancel sins.
The reality of this tendency, particularly at Rome, betrays itself in Hermas, who teaches the supererogatory merit of alms gained by the selfdenial of fasting (Sim.
The question of missions is reserved, and the relaxations granted to the Society in such matters as fasting, reciting the hours and reading heretical books, are withdrawn; while the breve ends with clauses carefully drawn to bar any legal exceptions that might be taken against its full validity and obligation.
Under this head fall the following: - Fasting, or abstention from certain meats and drinks; denial of sexual instinct; subjection of the body to physical discomforts, such as nakedness, vigils, sleeping on the bare ground, tattooing, deformation of skull, teeth, feet, &c., vows of silence to be observed throughout life or during pilgrimages, avoidance of baths, of hair-cutting and of clean raiment, living in a cave; actual self-infliction of pain, by scourging, branding, cutting with knives, wearing of hair shirts, fire-walking, burial alive, hanging up of oneself by hooks plunged into the skin, suspension of weights by such hooks to the tenderer parts of the body, self-mutilation and numerous other, often ingenious, modes of torture.
Fasting is used in primitive asceticism for a variety of reasons, among which the following deserve notice.
The story is well known; two years before his death Francis went up Mount Alverno in the Apennines with some of his disciples, and after forty days of fasting and prayer and contemplation, on the morning of the 14th of September 1224 (to use Sabatier's words), "he had a vision: in the warm rays of the rising sun he discerned suddenly a strange figure.
Lenzin, lengizin, lenzo, probably from the same root as "long" and referring to "the lengthening days"), in the Christian Church, the period of fasting preparatory to the festival of Easter.
At Rome, for instance, the whole period of fasting was but three weeks, according to the historian Socrates (Hist.
The Greek Lent begins on the Monday of Sexagesima, with a week of preparatory fasting, known as TvpoOl yca, or the "butter-week"; the actual fast, however, starts on the Monday of Quinquagesima (Estomihi), this week being known as "the first week of the fast" (050µas T&vv vriamtwv).
During the religious confusion of the Reformation, the practice of fasting was generally relaxed and it was found necessary to reassert the obligation of keeping Lent and the other periods and days of abstinence by a series of proclamations and statutes.
But in spite of statutes and proclamations, of occasional severities and of the patriotic example of Queen Elizabeth, the practice of fasting fell more and more into disuse.
"I have often noted," writes John Taylor, the water-poet, in his Jack a Lent (1620), "that if any superfluous feasting or gormandizing, paunch-cramming assembly do meet, it is so ordered that it must be either in Lent, upon a Friday, or a fasting: for the meat does not relish well except it be sauced with disobedience and comtempt of authority."
With the growth of the Oxford Movement in the English Church, the practice of observing Lent was revived; and, though no rules for fasting are authoritatively laid down, the duty of abstinence is now very generally inculcated by bishops and clergy, either as a discipline or as an exercise in self-denial.
Thus Bede records that in a certain year (which must have been 645, 647, 648 or 651) Queen Eanfleda, who had received her instruction from a Kentish priest of the Roman obedience, was fasting and keeping Palm Sunday, while her husband, Oswy, king of Northumbria, following the rule of the British church, was celebrating the Easter festival.
These, however, are really "rest-days," as fasting is forbidden in Mandaeism.
Penance might consist in fasting; it might consist in flagellation; it might consist in pilgrimage.
700, was twice blessed; not only was it an act of atonement in itself, like fasting and flagellation; it also gained for the pilgrim the merit of having stood on holy ground.
It follows immediately the ninth or the fasting-month, Ramadan, occupying the first three days of the tenth month, Shawwal.
(pope 795-816) introduced rogation days, but without the fasting, at Rome.
Again his doctrine of fasting is a spiritualizing of a current opus operatum conception on Jewish lines as though " keeping a watch " (statio) in that way atoned for sins (Sim.
Fusca, even though fasting and kept for days in absolutely dry air, could never be induced to imbibe water, sugar-cane juice or extra vasated blood.
The burden of the new prophecy seems to have been a new standard of moral obligations, especially with regard to marriage, fasting and martyrdom.
The latter wished for more fasting, the prohibition of second marriages, a frank, courageous profession of Christianity in daily life, and entire separation from the world; the bishops, on the other hand, sought to make it as easy as possible to be a Christian, lest they should lose the greater part of their congregations.
He began to preach against fasting, saint worship and the celibacy of priests; and some of his hearers began to put his teachings into practice.
He wore a sharp shirt of hair next his skin, scourged himself every Friday and other fasting days, lay upon the bare ground with a log under his head, and allowed himself but four or five hours' sleep. This access of the ascetic malady lasted but a short time, and More recovered to all outward appearance his balance of mind.
The 6th of April was kept as a day of fasting and prayer, and the 1st of July was thus set apart in order to seek divine guidance for the approaching conference.
None but a scion of a priestly family could become a deacon, elder or bishop. Accordingly the primacy remained in the family of Gregory until about 374, when the king Pap or Bab murdered Nerses, who had been ordained by Eusebius of Caesarea (362-370) and was over-zealous in implanting in Armenia the canons about celibacy, marriage, fasting, hospices and monastic life which Basil had established in Cappadocia.
3) was common to Marcion and Apelles, while the injunction of fasting $ is attributed to the Encratites (Iren.
He declared that the cenobitical life is superior to the eremitical; that fasting and austerities should not interfere with prayer or work; that work should form an integral part of the monastic life, not merely as an occupation, but for its own sake and in order to do good to others; and therefore that monasteries should be near towns.
And again, when they challenged His disciples for not observing the regular fasts, He gently reminded them that they themselves relaxed the discipline of fasting for a bridegroom's friends.
A penance of several years fasting might be commuted into saying so many prayers, or giving an arranged amount in alms, or even into a money-fine.
Dionysius Alexandrinus also, in his canonical epistle (260 A.D.), refers to the six fasting days (E Twv Pr YTECwv iijApac) in a manner which implies that the observance of them had already become an established usage in his time.
Here we have the origin of the Catholic rule of fasting, seldom understood by those who observe it.
The prohibition of taking life, which they took over from the Farther East, in itself entailed fasting from flesh.
We come to a third widespread reason for fasting, common among savages.
Among the North American Indians ecstatic fasting is regularly practised.
All over the world fasting is a recognized mode of evoking, consulting and also of overcoming the spirit world.
From the first, fasting was practised in the church for similar reason.
Not a few saints were rewarded for their fasting by glimpses of the beatific vision.
Above all, fasting was a mode of preparing oneself for the sacramental eating of a sacred animal, and as such often assisted by use of purgatives and aperients.
Nay, in the Roman church a practice of fasting on Saturday as well as on Friday was current before the time of Tertullian.