Do Catholics Eat Meat On Fridays?

Most religions consist of a variety of traditions that, while very old, are not practiced by every person of the faith. One example of an old tradition is Catholics abstaining from meat on Fridays.

Do Catholics eat meat on Fridays, or do they still practice this very old tradition?

The practice of not eating meat on Fridays is an old one, but it isn’t one that all Catholics follow. There is some significance to this practice of abstaining from meat dating back to the beginnings of the church.

There are also different ways that a Catholic may recognize this old tradition, either throughout the entire year or just through the season of Lent. 

There are a lot of practices that revolve around the season of Lent, which is one of the most important elements of the Catholic faith. 

Can Catholics Eat Meat On Fridays?

According to the traditional Catholic tradition, it is expected that one abstains from eating meat on Fridays, particularly during the Lent season. Meat used to be much more difficult to come by than it is now, so those who were able to access it regularly were typically well off.

There are a few reasons why Catholics, and even some Christians, refrain from meat on Fridays.

In particular, this tradition started as a way to remember Jesus’ sacrifice, which occurred on a Friday.

It has been commonplace throughout various cultures and religions to abstain from certain foods or fast in remembrance, and in Catholicism, this is the way it’s done. 

Furthermore, since meat wasn’t as readily available, many households viewed the ability to eat meat during a meal as a privilege. Therefore, to give up the privilege would be one way a person could honor Jesus on the day of the week that he died. 

What Do Catholics Eat On Fridays?

Because it was expected that people forgo eating meat on Fridays, many would shape their meals around fish.

The reason that fish became the staple dish is not exactly known. It has never been a rule that fish is what was to be eaten instead, and the rule of abstaining from meat did not mention fish. 

Fish was much easier to procure back around the time of Jesus, and so people were able to indulge in fish more easily than meat.

However, it may just be that Catholics found a loophole to still enjoy some healthy protein on Fridays. 

What Is Lent?

Lent is a period of forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

This period of time was when Jesus is said to have wandered the desert for forty days. During this time, he experienced several visits from a serpent, representative of the devil, who was trying to encourage Jesus to sin.

Jesus was able to fight off temptation every time. 

During Lent, those who observe it will usually give something up for forty days. This is usually something that they enjoy, a bad habit, or vice they typically give into.

The symbolism of this is to go without a certain luxury or bad habit that you are used to in an effort to experience a semblance of what Jesus experienced during his forty days in the desert. 

Do Catholics Still Not Eat Meat On Fridays?

The practice of not eating meat on Fridays isn’t practiced as much today as it used to be.

Many Catholics will follow the tradition of not eating meat on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, and will continue this practice throughout the entire season of Lent.

Some others will only refrain from eating meat on Good Friday.

Final Thoughts 

Avoiding meat and other privileges during the season of Lent has been a tradition for a very long time.

It used to hold more significance for Catholics than it does now, but most will still respect the symbolism of Lent in their own way. 

Lent and Easter are two of the most important times of year for Catholics, as it all represents what Jesus did for those who believed in him, which is considered the ultimate sacrifice.

As such, the least that Catholics can do is to skip meat on Fridays; whether it’s every Friday or just Fridays during Lent is their choice.