It is well known that in the Catholic Church, fasting and abstaining from meat during Good Friday is a long tradition and practice. Some may be wondering if eating meat during Good Friday is really a huge mortal sin offense? Is it really that bad if you eat meat on Good Friday? Let’s discuss it!
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is a solemn day that marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of fasting, prayer, and repentance for many Christians around the world. It is also a day of fasting and abstinence from eating meat from animals. However, it is okay if you consume broth made from meat like bone broth or chicken broth if you’re eating soup for example. The Church also allows the consumption of fish.
Where in the Bible Does it Say Not to Eat Meat on Friday?
It is not stated in the Bible that it is banned to eat meat on Good Friday, however, this practice has sought inspiration from the bible, specifically Daniel 10:2-3 “In those days, I, Daniel, mourned three full weeks. I ate no savory food, took no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.”
Catholic Church uses the practice of fasting and abstaining from meat on Good Friday, as a way to commemorate Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday.
When did the tradition of not eating meat on Good Friday start?
Not eating meat on Good Friday has been a long tradition in the Catholic Church. In fact, it started as a law stating that all Catholics should abstain from meat every Friday of the year.
For many years Catholics abstained from meat and fasted every Friday as a way to honor the memory of Christ’s death who died on a Friday. But in 866 AD, Pope Nicholas the First implemented the Friday meat abstinence a universal rule of the Church.
In 1983, the revised code of canon law stated that Abstinence from meat should only be observed on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday and that the age that this should be strictly followed would start from Age 14. Abstaining from eating meat on all Fridays of Lent has also been extended by the Catholic Church.
Is it a sin to eat meat on Good Friday?
The answer to this question heavily depends on the gravitational of sin that this practice can tap into. Generally, the Church has mandated abstinence from meat on Good Friday therefore it is a practice that the Church universally acknowledges. If you are caught between different scenarios that lead you to eat meat on Good Friday, then the outcome of the gravity of sin may vary.
For example, if you are sick and part of your strict dietary requirements is to eat animal protein every day, then if you consume meat on Good Friday, that’s likely not a sin at all, and you fall into the category of exemption from abstaining consuming meat on Good Friday.
However, if you do consume meat on Good Friday with full knowledge of the practice, and you intend to do it just because you want to and would like to disregard the practice, then that can fall into sin.
What if I accidentally ate meat on Friday during Lent?
If you accidentally eat meat without your full knowledge, that the food that you were consuming had meat and you only found out after consumption, that will probably not fall into sin. This is mainly because you have no intent to disobey the practice of abstaining from meat, but you fell into an accidental situation.
Is it a sin to eat meat?
No, The Catholic Church definitely believes that it is not a sin to eat meat.
What Else Should I Abstain From During Good Friday?
The Church also encourages us to abstain not just from meat but other things and activities as well during Good Friday. Since it is a day to commemorate the Lord’s death and suffering, engaging in loud activities like going to concerts, playing loud dance music, and the like is highly discouraged. The Church encourages us to spend our time in prayer and reflection on the Passion of Christ.
What Activities Should I Do During Good Friday?
If you’re looking for something to do on Good Friday that does not involve recreational activities, we highly suggest you try out an online Lenten retreat. Pray More Lenten Retreat is one of our favorites because it is a full-on online retreat that can be done at your own pace, anytime and anywhere. It also gives you a free option, making it accessible to all.