Last Friday before Easter, between the dates March 20th – April 23rd hold the memory of crucifixion of Jesus labelled Good Friday. The reason some belief behind the name Good Friday 2017 is because that terrible act of Jesus sacrificing himself for humankind’s sins led him to Resurrection and triumph against His death and mankind’s sins. It also leads Christians to the Holy event of Easter. Throughout the Christian community, this day is observed with respect and humility.
There’s a question why Catholics don’t eat meat on Good Friday? Is it forbidden?
During Lent and Good Friday, Catholics carry various rituals to learn patience and self-discipline. Lent is a 40 days long ritual that leads to Easter and during that one important discipline is fasting which requires abstaining meat.
Historically church forbade eating meat on all Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Later it changed to not eat meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays. Catholic Bishop in the USA relaxed the rule in 1966 to as it is now.
Meat is not forbidden, Catholics abstain from eating meat because of the current rules of fasting set by Catholic Church. Spanish Catholics eat fish and vegetables on this day and do not consume meat. Popular food on Good Friday is garlic soup and stew of cod, spinach and chick peas. Fish is the only form of meat that can be consumed. It is the day to abstain all kind of food involving meat. Good Friday is the day of fasting which is followed strictly. They can consume only one full meal or two small snacks as long as the portion does not equalise a full meal. Fasting is for aged 18 to 59 and people aged 14-17 just have to abstain meat.
Why does meat abstain on Good Friday?
Abstinence for Catholics is basically avoiding something good for greater good. There is nothing wrong with the meat and it is not wrong to eat meat but it still abstains during Holy Week Fasting. The meat can easily be consumed any other day without restriction. The abstinence is a type of penance to honour Christ’s sacrifice for mankind’s sins.This abstinence occurs on Good Friday, Ash Wednesday and Lent FridayThis abstinence is a form of minor sacrifice by a collective group of people(Catholics) for the ultimate sacrifice of Christ made by His crucifixionIt is also a way to remember the sacrifice and be better human being.
Is there a substitute to abstinence of meat?
The bishops in the USA and some other countries allows substitutes to other Friday penance. The rule for abstinence of meat is very strict on Good Friday, Ash Wednesday and Lent Fridays. It is a sin to not resist meat on the above mentioned days. If Catholics forget to abstain meat, their sin is lessened and are urged to follow it strictly next time. This is a way to learn resistance, know the value of sacrifice, appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus and for him try to keep away from sins. So this is why we don’t eat meat on Good Friday.