Why don’t Catholics eat meat during Lent?
Jesus was crucified on a Friday and, therefore, we make special sacrifices on Fridays to remember his suffering and death. According to canon law, Catholics are called to abstain from meat as a special sacrifice on all Fridays of the year, but the Church leaves it up to regional bishops to offer recommendations for alternative sacrifices.
Also, from a practical perspective, we fast and abstain from meat to develop discipline and resistance to the temptation of sin.
Why do we abstain from meat while fish is allowed?
Historically, the meat of livestock was much more expensive than fish. Think back centuries ago. Owning a cow and other forms of livestock would have been very expensive. Meat was expensive, while catching a fish was much cheaper. Eating fish, therefore, is meant to be a form of unity with the poor and a disciplined fast from expensive food. (This is why feasting on fine fish, lobster, and crab legs on Friday’s during Lent misses the point of abstaining from meat.)
Get the lesson plans, worksheets, and graphic organizers that support the Lenten Video Series: The Religion Teacher’s Lenten Activity Pack.
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