Why Can Catholics Eat Fish During Lent?
Whether or whether you are religious, you may be aware that Fish Friday is a tradition during Lent. But do you understand why? – Given that, according to Christian doctrine, Jesus died on a Friday, Friday fasting became a method to commemorate his death.
- However, this sort of fasting did not involve abstaining from all food (unlike trendy modern-day fasts).
- It simply meant refraining from eating the meat of warm-blooded animals, since, according to popular belief, Jesus was a warm-blooded creature.
- However, cold-blooded fish were permitted to be consumed during fasting days.
Thus, Fish on Fridays and “Fish Friday” were born, among several other religious celebrations. According to NPR, the most intriguing aspect of the reason so many people eat fish on Fridays is that it was one of the most major drivers of the rise of the worldwide fishing industry.
However, fish were linked with religious feasts well before Christianity. And as the number of meatless days on the medieval Christian calendar increased, including not just Fridays but also Wednesdays and Saturdays, Advent and Lent, and other holy days, the need for fish increased. Indeed, fish fasting days were indispensable to the expansion of the worldwide fishing industry.
Regarding the practice of consuming fish during Lent, there is an extra element. The Lenten diet consists mostly of fish and vegetables—foods that an average or poor Roman citizen might reasonably get. Meat was considered a luxury for the upper class.
Why do Catholics get permission to consume fish but not meat?
13 March 2014 / 10:43 PM / CBS Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – During Lent, Catholics are required to abstain from meat on Fridays, so many opt for fish. This prompted Chuck from Clearwater to wonder why fish is not considered meat. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, abstinence regulations define meat as exclusively coming from terrestrial animals, such as fowl, cows, sheep, and pigs.
- Fish are categorized separately from other animals.
- Charles Reid, a canon law professor at the University of St.
- Thomas School of Law, asserts that these Friday observances constitute a type of penance.
- A means to commemorate and acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross,” Reid stated.
- Jesus was killed on Friday, therefore we chose a penitential day that falls on Friday.
Meat has traditionally been linked with wealth, festivity, and feasting. Steve Maher, a student at the University of St. Thomas, stated, “I adore meat.” “It is a sacrifice, and I believe that is what makes it so potent.” According to Reid, the urban legend about an ancient pope encouraging fish to boost the fishing business is false.
Fish consumption on Fridays is not obligatory, but has become a habit in many Catholic homes. In fact, so many people eat fish on Fridays during Lent that a McDonald’s franchisee in Cincinnati introduced the Filet-o’-Fish in 1959 after incurring significant losses on Fridays. It prevailed against the “hula burger” alternative, which comprised of pineapple and melted cheese.
Charlie Corbett, a student at the University of St. Thomas, remarked, “I am ecstatic that we won.” According to the Conference of Catholic Bishops, meat juices, liquid dishes prepared from meat, such as soups and gravies, and spices created from animal fat are not legally banned. Within McDonald’s Stephanie Brown Please create a free account or sign in to access other features. Please enter a valid email address to proceed Please enter a valid email address to proceed.
Why do Catholics refrain from consuming meat during Lent?
This article was initially published on February 20, 2021, and was accessible only to subscribers. We’ve made it available to all readers as Lent begins this year. Please consider subscribing here if you are not already a subscriber. After a nonexistent Mardi Gras season and with the coronavirus epidemic still raging, local Catholics may wonder if their usual celebration of Lent will vary in 2021.
- The brief response is not much.
- Terrebonne, Lafourche, Grand Isle, and Morgan City, the territory governed by the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, are home to around 90,000 Catholics.
- According to the Rev.
- Patrick Riviere, director of the diocese’s Office of the Priesthood, a fundamental part of Lent will be honored as normal this year.
“Yes, eating meat on Fridays during Lent is a sin,” Riviere said. “During Lent, the Church requests that Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays.” What constitutes seafood? During Lent, alligator, beaver, and other animals are consumed. Last year, Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Shelton Fabre relaxed the requirement to refrain from eating meat on the fourth and fifth Fridays of Lent because to COVID-19 and Louisiana’s stay-at-home rules.
- Due to the current problems posed by the epidemic and the stay-at-home order, it may be burdensome for some to adopt the practice of abstaining from meat,” he stated at the time.
- However, the 2020 waiver or exemption was not widespread.
- For those who are able, I urge you to continue fulfilling this commitment for your own spiritual benefit and for the welfare of the Church,” he stated.
Since then, the government has eased the draconian stay-at-home directives. “Since these circumstances no longer exist, there is no need for the same dispensation until Lent 2021,” Fabre stated last week. Riviere stated that the Church requested that Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent in remembrance of Good Friday, the day the Bible states Jesus died on the cross.
Meat was selected as the sacrifice because it was a festive dish. Catholics can share a similar experience in memory of Jesus’ sacrifice by abstaining. The Courier and Daily Comet questioned Catholics on Facebook as to whether they adhere to the ritual or consider its absence a sin. There were more than 300 replies to the question.
Sheila Wolf LeBouef noted, “Catholic teachings instruct us to abstain from eating meat on Fridays as an act of penance.” “Due to the belief that Christ died on a Friday, Friday is a day of penance. Everyone has the choice to consume meat or not. I elect not to.” Christopher Shane stated, “It is a sin to disregard your own spirituality.” “The fact that you exchange red meat for fried shrimp, boiling crawfish, etc.
Is a joke, but you know it’s real. Such a lavish sacrifice makes no sense whatsoever. Being truthful with oneself is often a greater cost than sacrificing inherited customs, beliefs, and social acceptance.” Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes mark Ash Wednesday 2022 with the theme “It’s time to get serious.” Greg Szanyi commented, “I agree with you that it is preferable to find an alternative method to respect the sacrifice Jesus made for everyone if you choose not to follow the conventional path.” Mary Beth Guidroz Gast stated, “It is intended as a type of atonement.” “I recognize that we live in a festive society, but the purpose of Lenten days of fasting is not to indulge in seafood or crawfish.” Christy Walker stated, “I don’t think it’s a sin.” “It requires greater sacrifice.
During Lent, I abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is how my mother was brought up, and this is how she raised us.” Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, February 17, and concludes on Easter, April 4, is a month during which Catholics focus on spiritual growth and rededicating themselves to God.
- Catholics are required to conduct three traditional rituals during Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving or charity.
- Riviere stated that he personally implements this through prayer, reciting Mary-centric devotions.
- He considers where he perceives God in his deeds and where he may have strayed from God.
On fasting days, Wednesdays and Fridays, he restricts excessive screen time and donates to charity or assists those in need. Fabre stated that penance and self-denial during Lent are still essential in a difficult year. “As we did last year during Lent, I believe that this season of Lent is another opportunity, along with our penitential practices, to enter the coronavirus restrictions from a spiritual perspective and to allow the season of Lent to once again speak to our hopes rooted in the resurrected Jesus Christ,” Fabre said.