I learned something new at work last week. Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent. When I inquired about it, no one really knew why, but that’s just what they did (or didn’t do) on Friday’s during Lent. So that left me wondering and doing a little internet research. If you know more about this … please leave comments below. I’d love to learn.
Let’s start from a Theological perspective: in the church, we commemorate Jesus’ death as being on a Friday. Because of that, people have written of fasting on Friday to remember His sacrifice for us from very early on. That’s it. It’s just that simple. So in an effort to not forget Jesus’ sacrifice, many cut out meat on Fridays. Eating fish is fair game for Fridays because they are cold-blooded animals. Apparently it’s only warm-blooded — live off the land sort of animals — that are off-limits.
As the church and Catholicism grew, fasting from meat was not just a Friday during lent sort of thing. Most catholics were supposed to fast from meat every Friday to continually remind themselves of Jesus’ death on the cross. When adding in advent and other Holy Days in the christian calendar, Fish Friday’s grew in popularity.
I read an interesting USA today article concerning Fish Friday’s and a McDonald’s in a largely catholic part of Cincinnati. Apparently, the franchise was doing very poorly on Fridays and was going under. The Owner/General Manager knew he needed a non-meat alternative for Friday if his business was going to survive. So he developed the Filet-o-Fish sandwich. The the full article here.
I personally did not adopt the ‘no meat Friday’ as a part of my fasting this year. I’m going to keep it in my thoughts and see if that is something I think I need to pull in at another time. I will tell you, this would be a hard one for me. I don’t really care for fish, so it would definitely be a sacrifice for me. Maybe that is reason enough to pull it in and take part?
Do you eat meat on Fridays during Lent? Was it something you grew up doing or are you doing it just recently as an addition to your Lenten fasting routine? I’m super interested to know!