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Why Eat Fish On Friday?

Why Eat Fish On Friday
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.

  1. However, this sort of fasting did not involve abstaining from all food (unlike trendy modern-day fasts).
  2. It simply meant refraining from eating the meat of warm-blooded animals, since, according to popular belief, Jesus was a warm-blooded creature.
  3. 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.

Which faith consumes fish on Friday?

Why Do Catholics Consume Fish Every Friday? Catholics must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday throughout Lent (including Good Friday). Fish is frequently substituted for meat in meals. With the increasing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, there are numerous alternatives to fish.

Christians have historically, since around the second century of Christianity, refrained from eating meat on Fridays as a kind of sacrifice and remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which is commemorated on Good Friday. This is also why the sad mysteries of the rosary are spoken on Friday. About two centuries later, Lent was created as a time of rigorous preparation for Easter, therefore fasting and abstinence were extended to the majority of Lent.

Many Catholic rituals and rules were streamlined during the Second Vatican Council. There was an overemphasis on sin and sacrifice, and some of the rites were too complicated. Many felt that violating Friday abstinence was a grave sin that may lead to damnation.

They realized that the situation had spiraled out of control. Consequently, the bishops maintained the practice of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (eating just one big meal and then two smaller meals that do not match the one large meal) and refraining from meat on Fridays during the more penitential season of Lent.

Some have asserted that bishops were in league with the fishing business, however there is few evidence to support this assertion. After returning from Christmas break, I vividly recall sitting in my junior-level English class. My teacher asked us what our New Year’s resolutions were.

When did it become a sin to consume meat on Friday?

Why do Catholics not consume meat on Friday? On Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the Fridays of Lent, Catholics refrain from eating flesh meat. Abstinence is one of Christianity’s earliest traditions. “The day of the crucifixion has historically been celebrated as a day of abstinence from flesh meat (the “black fast”) to commemorate Christ, who gave his flesh on a Friday” (Klein, P., Catholic Source Book, 78).

Prior to 1966, Church rule banned eating meat on every Friday of the year. “Abstinence is to be practiced on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday commemorating the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ,” stated the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law (Canon 1251). “Everyone who has reached their fourteenth birthday is bound by the commandment of abstinence” (Canon 1252).

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) extended this regulation to all Fridays throughout Lent. Since Jesus gave his flesh for us on Good Friday, Christians do not consume flesh meat on Fridays in his honor. Primarily included in this category are beef, hog, chicken, and turkey.

Flesh flesh encompasses the meat of mammals and birds. While the flesh of certain animals is forbidden, their non-flesh products, such as milk, cheese, butter, and eggs, are not. Fish do not fall in the category of flesh meat. The Latin term for meat, caro, from which English phrases such as carnivore and carnivorous are derived, refers exclusively to flesh meat and has never been understood to include fish.

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Furthermore, in the past, flesh meat was more costly, consumed infrequently, and linked with festivals, whereas fish was inexpensive, consumed frequently, and not associated with celebrations. Abstinence is a type of punishment. Penance is an expression of remorse and contrition for our wrongdoing, an indication of our commitment to turn away from sin and return to God, and restitution for our sins; it assists in erasing the debt and paying the penalty caused by our crimes.

Abstinence is a kind of asceticism, which is the practice of self-denial in order to become more holy. Jesus requests of his disciples that they renounce themselves and take up their cross (Mt 16:24). Abstinence is a sensible way to embrace simplicity and austerity, to reject our bodies’ appetites in honor of Jesus, who exemplified the highest kind of self-denial when he sacrificed his body for us.

Thus, abstaining from flesh meat on Fridays in order to indulge in lobster tail or Alaskan king crab defeats the ascetic aim of fasting. Less is more! Simple Friday meatless supper alternatives include pancakes, waffles, soup and rolls, chipped tuna on toast, macaroni and cheese, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese pizza, and, of course, fish.

Father Michael Van Sloun’s background In Wayzata, Minnesota, Father Michael Van Sloun is the pastor of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church. He has always been a teacher, having served as a previous school principal, high school teacher, and athletic coach. As a homilist, Bible study leader, retreat director, pilgrimage guide, and author of several publications, he now teaches the religion.

© 2008, Michael A. Van Sloun, Rev. Used with authorization: Why do Catholics not consume meat on Friday?

I believed they ought to have kept it. It was one of the regulations that neither harmed nor helped anyone. Vincent Del Pizzo, an 87-year-old ornamental iron fabricator in Little Italy, has never comprehended why it is beneficial to abstain from eating meat on Fridays.

On Fridays, my mother would prepare beans, macaroni, spaghetti with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and an abundance of fish prepared in a variety of ways,” recalled Mr. Del Pizzo. “However, no one has ever explained to me why it is forbidden to consume meat on Fridays. I continue to fast during Lent. I don’t know why I do it, but I do.” According to “The Faith of Our Fathers” by the late Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 to 1921, Catholics abstain from eating meat on Friday “to share in Christ’s sorrows.” The sacrifice recalls Jesus’ suffering and expiates sin.

There have always been dispensations and exceptions to the abstinence norm, ever since the early church adopted the custom: for travelers, laborers, the sick, and the needy. Abstinence traditionally meant avoiding flesh meat and all meat products, including milk, eggs, butter, and cheese, but by the ninth century, milk, eggs, and milk products were excluded.

Abstinence was quite fashionable among early Christian hermits. For centuries, Saturday was also a day of abstinence in many regions of the world. “Before Vatican II, the church taught that eating two ounces of beef on a day of abstinence, such as Friday, was ‘gravely wicked,'” said the Rev. Joseph S. Rossi, a Jesuit professor of church history at Loyola College.

The consumption of less than 2 ounces of meat on a day of abstinence was deemed a “minor issue.” But moral theology was transmitted through parish priests and parochial school nuns, which is why you get such a diverse reaction to the question of whether or not eating meat on Friday constituted a fatal sin.

  1. The catechism stated that eating flesh meat on Fridays is banned, but did not indicate the gravity of the offense.
  2. Rarely did professors provide specifics.
  3. Catholics were permitted to pick their own penance to join in Christ’s suffering on Good Friday following Vatican II.
  4. The church “recommends” that people older than 14 adhere to the commandment of abstinence on Fridays, although only Ash Wednesday and Fridays throughout Lent make it mandatory.

The Rev. John Lavin, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel on Lombard Street and St. Patrick’s on Broadway, remarked: “Young people today would not even recall the days of eating fish on Friday.” Father Lavin thinks fasting to be a meaningful spiritual experience, but he does not place much weight on Friday meat abstinence.

  1. The last time I recall it being a problem was in 1966, shortly after I was ordained, when my grandparents brought me out to supper.
  2. My great-aunt Agnes replied, “Father will have the fish,” as the waiter was taking our order and I was struggling to decide.
  3. Catholics were advised to refrain from eating meat on Fridays.
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Cardinal recommends abstinence in the weeks preceding the Pope’s arrival.

Where did the custom of serving seven fishes originate?

What Is the Seven Fish Feast? And How to Cook It for the Christmas Eve Meal Contributed by Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen Fraya is both a chef and a Food Network contributor. In Southern Italy, it is a time-honored custom to celebrate Christmas Eve with a feast of seven fish dishes.

It’s virtually usually a family affair, with generations of cooks in the kitchen and perennially popular dishes. However, you do not need to be Italian to host your own holiday seafood feast, nor do you need to keep to traditional recipes. Choose from our selection of dishes to learn everything you need to know about the event, including its history and how to create your own celebration.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American Christmas Eve feast that unites families via traditions that span generations, decades, and oceans, similar to Thanksgiving. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, known in Italy as La Viglia, which translates to The Eve, as in December 24th, Christmas Eve, is not a religious holiday (unless your religion is worshipping at the altar of amazing food).

It is nothing more than a traditional Italian holiday dinner centered on fish. There is no standard menu for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, but there are a few dishes that most families include, and we have plenty of information to help you prepare one that matches your lifestyle (and the size of your kitchen).

Why do Italian-Americans celebrate Christmas Eve with an extraordinary feast? Politics, poverty, and family customs all contribute to the tradition. Before 1861, the territory that is now Italy consisted of a collection of regions, each with its own government.

Prior to and after unification, the southern sections of the country were the poorest, and fish was an abundant food supply. The region became so impoverished that millions of people left and moved to the United States, carrying with them their gastronomic traditions. The habit of avoiding consuming dairy or meat on the eve of certain holidays, including Christmas, is the origin of the tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve.

And the number seven appears frequently as a symbol in the Bible; in Catholicism, there are seven sacraments and seven deadly sins. In the early 20th century, these concepts coalesced into the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The name and the quantity of dishes are entirely Italian American inventions.

The seven-fishes custom dictates that there must be seven fish on the dinner table, but for the sake of simplicity, consider any seafood, including shellfish, to count as fish. Instead of cooking seven entire fish for what would be an extremely big main dish spread, give three small appetizers, a soup, pasta, entrée, and a side salad with seafood as the focal point.

Purchasing fish: Purchase only the freshest seafood from a reliable fishmonger. It is a busy time of year, so you should place your order a week in advance. Menu planning: It is acceptable to provide sample portions of each item. Keeping this in mind, imagine that each dish will serve 1 1/2 times the stated number of people: a recipe for 4 will serve 6, a recipe for 6 will serve 9, and a one for 8 will serve 12.

Plan for two or three courses to be served cold or at room temperature; there are insufficient burners on the stove to accommodate seven hot dishes. You don’t need a ton of side dishes because many of the fish entrees already include one. Preparing for the feast Consider the number of plates you possess: we enjoy serving each dish as a distinct course, but only when we have enough plates to do so.

Three dishes on one platter is OK. Given that this banquet is held on Christmas Eve, the decorations are festively themed. Here is a suggested structure for your feast. Every Italian American celebrates it slightly differently, but this is a good starting point.

  • Feel free to combine recipes as you see fit.
  • For additional recipes, please visit our gallery of.
  • First Course: Appetizers and Snacks Baked stuffed clams, baked and raw oysters, and shrimp cocktail are simple appetizers to serve prior to plated meals.
  • We believe that a platter of freshly cooked and chilled shrimp is the epitome of festivity.

Make the cocktail sauce two days prior to the party. Renee Comet, 2015, Food Network Television, all rights reserved. When there is a party, there must be dip. This crab preparation is flawless. Have the fishmonger shuck the clams, but insist on receiving the shells.

  1. The clams can be served on a bed of salt to prevent them from toppling over.
  2. You do not need a grill to prepare these oysters; an oven heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit will suffice.
  3. Adrian Mueller, 2012, Adrian Mueller – www.ameuler.com, Cooking Channel, Inc.
  4. Strictly Reserved Are these scallops served on a bed of arugula and baked with prosciutto a seafood dish, an appetizer, or a salad? They are so delicious that no one will care how you classify them.
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Second Course: Salad of Greens and Seafood The crimson and green hues of a seafood salad with classic Italian greens such as endives, arugula, and radicchio are holiday-appropriate. Giada is a pro when it comes to Italian entertaining; her festive red and green salad with grilled scallops and calamari not only looks gorgeous, but will also have guests asking for seconds.

It is typical of Ina to prepare a salad that is both spectacular and simple. The third course is a savory seafood stew. A seafood stew such as cacciucco (authentic Italian cioppino) is traditional, but you may obtain a variety of fish in one bowl: bragging rights at the water cooler in January: “We had 13 fish at the feast.” Talk about tasty and simple! Make and freeze the tomato foundation for cioppino up to one month before the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

The only remaining step is to add the fish and cook it just before serving. With the addition of a few slices of a robust white fish such as halibut, a single pot may hold seven species of fish. Here is a hot pot of white, not red, fish and shellfish stew.

This is why it’s named “brodetto,” which translates to “light broth”: the only ingredients are white wine and the clam fluids. The Pasta Course is the fourth course. Common to the majority of Feast of the Seven Fishes feasts is a pasta dish. This spaghetti has seven different types of seafood: clams, mussels, halibut, shrimp, anchovies, calamari, and scallops.

This easy and traditional white clam pasta is prepared fast with only a few ingredients. Ideal for 5: Fifth course: fish entrees with meat It’s great to have a complete fish, head and tail intact, to represent plenty. Fish can also be served as a main course; if you don’t want to deep fry, consider oven-frying the fish or shallow-frying crab cakes.

  1. Bringing a whole baked fish to the table is similar to bringing out the Thanksgiving turkey: it will evoke many oohs and aahs.
  2. You need not explain how simple it was, especially since you made the relish earlier in the week.
  3. Because almost 500 people have rated our baked salmon as five stars, we proclaim it the best.

Cut the portions in half before baking for your feast, as there will be six additional courses. Prepare the tapenade two days in advance, and expect the 2-pound piece of halibut to serve six to eight individuals. Here, spicy fried shrimp that are nearly identical to Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp.

They are not Italian, but they are quite popular in the United States. We adore pan-fried fish, and this cod fits the bill. On any other night, slaw is a fantastic addition, but on Christmas Eve, you may want to omit it. A palate cleanser constitutes the sixth course. If you really want to increase the ante on your feast, offer a little palette cleanser between the dinner and dessert courses to help cut through the richness of the previous meals.

Serve Giada’s simple frozen dessert dish in small spoons so that each guest may enjoy a single, sour taste.7. Final Course: Dessert Dessert is likely the greatest dish for a visitor to bring: if they’re late, dinner won’t be delayed, and it won’t likely require warming.

  • There are so many Italian Christmas cookies at this time of year that many people just serve them.
  • Con Poulos, 2010.
  • Con Poulos Pictures Tiramisu is an ideal dessert for celebrations, and you’ll like the fact that it can be prepared the day before it’s served.
  • The meal for the Feast of the Seven Fishes is renowned for its fried foods.

These zeppole are created with pizza dough purchased from a shop. Related Links:: What Is the Seven Fish Feast? And How to Cook It for the Christmas Eve Meal