Fullness in Truth



The following are to be made known in Lent to the faithful, including Religious Communities, in all Parishes and missions. During the year it should be repeated at the appropriate time.

  1. Days of Obligation

 Regarding Sundays and feast days of obligation, Canon 1246 prescribes ten days of obligation. In India, Christmas and the feast of the Assumption of our Lady are days of obligation. Three feasts, the Epiphany of Our Lord, the Ascension of Christ and the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ have been transferred to Sundays.

 The other five solemnities: Mary Mother of God; the Immaculate Conception; St. Joseph; the Apostles, Ss Peter and Paul; and All Saints are omitted as feast days of obligation in India.

The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied whenever Mass is celebrated in any Catholic Rite, either on a holy day itself or in the previous evening (after 4.00 P.M.) of the previous day and on the eve of Christmas and the Assumption.

  1. Easter Duties may be fulfilled from Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday.
  2. Penitential Law Canon 1250 and the following regulations, prescribe days of penance for the universal Church. By virtue of the powers given by the Decree of February 27, 1996, the CBCI has mitigated the norms. 
  1. Days of Penance: All the Fridays of the year and the days of Lent.

Since on these days, one is no more bound to abstain from meat, some other penitential work must substitute it. Substitution may be done by one of the following devotional practices and good works, or similar ones:

(i)                   Assisting at Mass

(ii)                 Visit to the Church

(iii)                Reception of Holy Communion

(iv)               Stations of the Cross

(v)                 Almsgiving

(vi)               Visiting the poor


(vii)              Visiting the sick either at home or in hospitals

(viii)            Reading the Bible or a Spiritual Book

(ix)               The family Rosary

(x)                 Abstaining from picnic/cinema, smoking/alcoholic drinks

(xi)               Bearing sickness or suffering patiently.

(xii)              Visit to the Prison


The usual faculties for Parish Priests or Confessors are still in force for dispensing or substituting, even in the case of above. (See Vademecum p.28ff).

  1. Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence becomes mandatory from the age of 14; fast, from the age of 21 to 60 (Paenitemini IV). We should teach all to go beyond the law as regards, specially, penance during Lent.

Though the obligation of specific acts of Lenten penance has been removed since some years, the need for Lenten penance remains. On all penitential days, e.g. Lent, Fridays on which fast or abstinence was prescribed in the past, the obligation should be replaced by other mortification, or works of charity or piety. Those who can keep fast are advised to do so. Those who cannot must substitute it by something else.

The law of penance is essential to Christian life. The changes are not a dispensation, but a ‘permission to substitute something else, additional and voluntary, which one is not already obliged to do by one’s duty or state of life. Those availing themselves of this general dispensation, all including Priests and Religious, are exhorted to make up by voluntary practices, especially during Lent: assisting at Mass; some additional time of prayer, specially meditation; visiting the sick; some voluntary mortification in eating, drinking, smoking, amusements, putting aside for the poor the money thus saved; giving alms more generously to the poor, to charitable works, specially to the “Campaign against Hunger”, accepting more patiently, in a spirit of penance, the trials, sickness, sufferings, contradictions of life.

We should make full pastoral use of Lent, through Sunday and other instructions, intensive preparation for Easter Communion of first communicants, of catechumens. Lenten season is eminently suited for adult catechesis. In many places, the Way of the Cross in the villages is very effective. Let the renewal of Baptismal vows on Holy Saturday be a means of Christian renewal for us and for our people. It should be prepared with a catechesis.

  1. The following collections must be made in all the Churches including the Mission Centres, Chapels and sent to the Procurator at Bishop’s House, Varanasi.
Name Occasion Purpose Last Date to submit
Communio India One Sunday in Advent Mission Church in India 10th January
Pro Afris Christmas Missions in Africa 10th January
Holy Childhood 2nd Sunday February Poor Children all over the world 28th February
Maintenance of the Holy See Easter Structures of the Holy See 10th May
Holy Land Good Friday


For the upkeep of Holy Place in Holy Land 10th May
Lenten Campaign Lenten Season Hunger and needy of the world 10th May
Seminarians of the Diocese Pentecost Sunday Needs of Seminarians in Diocese 10th June
Peter’s Pence Sunday after 29th June (Peter & Paul) Needs of Holy Father 10th August
Mission Sunday Last but one Sunday of October Evangelization all over the world 10th November
St. Peter the Apostle Sunday after the feast of St. Jean Marie Vianney Seminarians & Novices in Mission Countries 10th September

On other Sundays of the year and the Feast days of Obligation the collection should be taken for the upkeep of the respective Church. In order to fall in line with the Catholics of the whole world, Lent has been set aside by the CBCI for the Campaign against Hunger and Disease. All the contributions received from the Parishes and Institutions will be forwarded by the Diocese to Caritas India, New Delhi.

  1. Distribution of the Eucharist: As per the rule of the Church the approved ordinary and extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist will distribute Communion with decorum. They shall not pass the ciborium to the devotees to pick the Sacred Host by themselves. They should wear their special dress.
  2. For the celebration of the Eucharist in this Diocese, an alb or cassock, and stole / shawl approved in the diocese are mandatory.
  1. Dress for Priests of Agra region:

The dress of the Priest manifests his Person and it should be sober, decent and becoming.

  1. The cassock is the usual and official dress for Priests. It should be worn:
  2. For Liturgical celebration, b. For official functions, c. When on duty in School etc.,


Though a small Diocese, Diocese of Varanasi is in a significant way a picture of Mother India. The very name of this Holy City conjures up the apex of the spirit’s endeavour in Hinduism.


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Bishop’s House
45, Varanasi Cantt.
Varanasi – 221002
Uttar Pradesh, India


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