Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?
In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?” with an in-depth analysis of Good Friday. Moreover, we will discuss why don’t Christians eat chicken on Good Friday? Along with the history behind not eating chicken on Good Friday.
Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?
No, it is prohibited to eat chicken on Good Friday by Catholics. On Good Friday, Catholics who are above age 14 do not eat meat including chicken. It does not mean that they do not eat chicken at all, they just avoid eating chicken on some specific days.
But, they can have eggs, milk, fish, grains, and fruits and vegetables
However, there are exemptions. For instance, pregnant women, people who are ill, the elderly and children are excluded from Lent customs of fasting.
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. This day is observed as a holiday each year by the Christians on which they commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From the beginning of Christianity, this day has been observed as a day of sorrow, repentance, and fasting, it is considered as a Sorrowful Friday.
As well as, Catholics of ages between 18 to 59 observe fast on both Good Friday and Ash Wednesday, a custom within the Roman Catholic church that implies you can only eat only one full meal or two smaller meals on that day.
Why don’t Christians eat chicken on Good Friday?
The meat including chicken is considered a worthy sacrifice as it is linked with feasts and celebrations.
In ancient cultures, meat was regarded as a delicacy and no land animals were slaughtered unless there was something to celebrate.
Fridays are observed as a day of repentance so eating chicken or any other meat on a Good Friday to “celebrate” the death of Jesus Christ does not suit well.
The history behind not eating chicken on Good Friday
In the United States in 1966, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops passed Norms II and IV that bound all persons from age fourteen to abstain from meat on Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent and throughout the year. Previously, the requirement to abstain from meat on Good Friday and all Fridays of the year applied for those of age seven or older.
In ancient times, priests at church started to advise people not to eat chicken during lent. For them, it was a sinful act to eat chicken during lent. They started this tradition in the memory of Christ.
As Jesus sacrificed himself for us on Good Friday, therefore, we must abstain from eating flesh meat in his honour on Fridays.
Flesh meat constitutes the meat of mammals and poultry, which includes beef, pork, chicken and turkey. While meat is forbidden, the non-meat products of these animals are allowed, which includes milk, cheese, butter, and eggs.
Interestingly, fish do not belong to the flesh-meat division. Caro, the Latin word for meat from which we get English words such as carnivore and carnivorous, refers strictly to flesh meat and has never been recognised to incorporate fish.
Moreover, in ancient times flesh meat was more costly. It was associated only with feasting and celebrations and was eaten on rare occasions. On the other hand, fish was affordable, consumed more often, and was not associated with festivities.
Fasting is a form of repentance and asceticism that expresses sorrow and penance for our wrongdoing, shows our intention to avoid sins and return to God, and makes atonement for our sins, it helps to eliminate the debt and pay the penalties for our sins.
It is the practice of self-denial to increase faith and a sober way to practice simplicity and austerity, to deny the cravings of our bodies to honour Jesus who practised the ultimate form of self-denial when he gave his body for us on the Cross. Jesus commands his disciples to deny themselves and take up their trial.
Therefore, to give up flesh meat on a Good Friday and all Fridays during lent, only to feast on the lobster tail or Alaskan king crab, is to overcome the ascetical purpose of fasting.
What can we eat on a Good Friday instead of meat?
There are many alternatives for a simplistic Friday dinner excluding meat that includes chipped tuna on toast, pancakes, macaroni, waffles, soup, rolls, cheese, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese pizza, and also, fish.
In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?” with an in-depth analysis of Good Friday. Moreover, we have discussed why don’t Christians eat chicken on Good Friday? Along with the history behind not eating chicken on Good Friday.