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From the earliest centuries of the Church’s history, Friday was dedicated to the memory of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a day on which we should make a special effort to practice penitence. The seasons and days of penitence in the course of the Liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday) are therefore intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice.

To mark the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom, the Bishops of England and Wales decided that they wished to 'to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity.' As from Friday 16th September 2011, Latin Catholics in England and Wales will, once again, fulfil this weekly obligation by abstaining from meat.

This page brings together a number of links and materials that will assist schools and colleges in encouraging the practice of Christian penance in general and of the common act of penintance encouraged by the Bishops.

Related files:

Catholic Witness - Friday Penance (Q&A from the Bishop' Conference)

Related Links:

Liturgy Office for England and Wales

Liturgy Office Leaflet on Fasting

Paul VI Apostolic Constitution 'Paenitemini'

Re-establishing Friday penance (Old Diocesan Website)

US Bishops' Document on Penance and Abstinence