Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
affairs in Lynchburg
Lynchburg, Va., Dec. 3.
In the Catholic Church of this city, yesterday, Bishop McGill
administered the sacrament of confirmation to fifty persons, a majority of whom were boys and girls.
Previous to the ceremony, which was of the most impressive character, the Bishop
delivered a discourse on the subject of signs and ceremonies as practiced by the Catholic Church, which, for strong, close reasoning and logical conclusions, I have seldom heard equalled.
Yesterday was the first day or beginning of the Ecclesiastical
year, and accordingly the first Sunday in Advent.
Next Friday, and each succeeding Friday between that time and Christmas
, will be fasting days.
The Ecclesiastical year is divided into three parts — the first part from the first Sunday in Adventist Christmas, or the birth of Christ
; the second part from Christmas
to Whit-Sunday, or the Ascension
, and the third and last part from Whit-Sunday to the first day in Adventist the beginning of the Ecclesiastical
year — The days of the holy obligation are seven in number.
The Ember days, or Quarter Tenses, which occur four times a year, are on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays--1st, Immediately after the first Sunday in Lent; 2nd, in Whit-Sunday week; 3rd, immediately after the third Sunday in Advent.
When fasting day fails on Sunday, it is observed on the preceding day. The word "fast" is not interpreted in the full acceptation of the term, as with Protestants, but is simply understood to mean an abstinence from fresh meat and to eat butter full meal a day, and that not before 12 o'clock (noon); besides this, a collation, (about one-fourth of a meal,) is allowed in the evening.
All who have reached the age of 21 are required to observe the fasting days, unless they are excused for sufficient cause.--In several of the Diocese throughout the United States
, these general rules
are modified, more or less, by the rules for Lent, promulgated by ecclesiastical authority.
The days of abstinence are all Fridays in the year; all Saturdays except those which fall between the 25th of December and February 2nd, both included.
A day of abstinence is that on which the regular number of meals is allowed, but flesh met is forbidden.
Dispensation to use flesh meal on Saturdays, "not restricted by fast," was granted some years ago to the faithful in the United States
, until the beginning of the present year.
In conformity with a request of a number of our citizens, irrespective of party, the Mayor
of this city has issued a call for a meeting, to be held in this city, on Wednesday afternoon next, to deliberate on the present distracted condition of the country. Q. K.