An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Days of Special Devotion

Term used in the table of precedence in the BCP to describe the weekdays of Lent and Holy Week (except the feast of the Annunciation) and the Fridays of the year, except for Fridays in Christmas and Easter seasons, and any Feasts of our Lord which occur on a Friday. They are observed by “special acts of discipline and self denial” (BCP, p. 17). The term “fasts,” formerly used to describe these days, is now reserved for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. At the time of the Reformation, these days, as well as the Ember Days and the vigils of certain feasts, were observed by abstinence from meat. The BCP has never specifically stated exactly what “special acts of discipline and self denial” were expected.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.