Friday Fasting Eat Fish

Graph showing what Catholics can and cannot eat on Fridays during Lent.

Equipping Godly Women

Graph showing what Catholics can and cannot eat on Fridays during Lent.

Elizabeth Goetz, Editor

Imagine yourself rushing through the Friday of Spring Break, overwhelmed by everything that you need to get done so that you can relax on your last two days of no school. You know that you only have about ten minutes to eat lunch because your mom told you to have your room cleaned before she gets home from work. Halfway through eating your hamburger, you realize it’s Friday, and you’re Catholic.

We all know that during a few weeks close to the end of the year, the school gives out fish as an alternative to the meal they are serving every Friday. Many people likely understand that it’s because of the Catholic faith. However, not very many people understand the reasoning behind this. 

So, why was Friday chosen for fasting? Why not Monday, Saturday, or any other day of the week, for that matter? As Christians, we believe that Christ gave up his life on the cross, and the day that he died was on a Friday, Good Friday to be exact. While abstaining from eating meat isn’t exactly on the same level as giving your life, it is seen as a small sacrifice to recognize the fact that Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. 

I have also encountered another question: “If Catholics give up meat every Friday, why can you still eat fish?” To be honest, before writing this, I had no idea. After researching, I have found a few different reasons, but not something exact. One of the most prominent explanations was that fish are cold-blooded. For this reason, they are separated from the other proteins that we commonly eat. Additionally, I found that long ago, proteins other than fish were considered food for the wealthy. Fish was the meal of the poor, and because Christ lived alongside the poor, we should humble ourselves and live as he did. 

Overall, the minor sacrifice of abstaining from meat on Fridays is so much more than the decision between mac and cheese and fish. It’s acknowledging that we can be so much better than we are right now. Acting as Christ did, caring for, and helping those around us isn’t always easy, but these small, simple acts can truly transform both your life and the lives of others.

 

References

Hart, M. (2016, March 3). Why do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays in Lent? LifeTeen. 

https://lifeteen.com/blog/why-catholics-abstain-eating-meat-on-fridays-during-lent/. 

Kosloski, P. (2017, March 1). Here’s why Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent

Aleteia. https://aleteia.org/2017/03/01/heres-why-catholics-dont-eat-meat-on-fridays- 

during-lent/.