Rorate Caeli

Today is Friday, so...

...I would like to bring to your attention the following article on "Fish on Fridays":

By Michael P. Foley

One of the most recognizable markers of Catholic identity used to be the practice of abstaining from meat on Friday. A Protestant colleague of mine speaks admiringly of how in his youth he would hang out, Happy Days style, at a burger joint on Friday night. When the clock struck twelve, the Catholic teens who were there would let loose a cry that echoed through the parking lot: “Ham-burger!”

What those teenagers didn’t know was that they were honoring a discipline probably as old as Christianity itself. Abstaining on Friday from “flesh meat,” the meat of a warm-blooded animal, is potentially older than some books of the New Testament.1 Be it with fasting (having little or no food) or abstaining (refraining from food of a particular kind), the Church has always observed Friday with some sort of restriction on comestibles.

(Read the rest of the article HERE).


  1. Eating fish on most Wednesdays and Fridays is considered lax in Eastern Christian practice, especially by the Orthodox, where the discipline permits only fruits, vegetables, and maybe shellfish (and there's argument about this last in some places).

  2. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Today is a Friday in the octave of Christmas, and thus, a solemnity thereby making abstinence wrong minded. Try again next week when it's not a solemnity. -JBM

  3. Anonymous6:26 PM

    Anon, you're going off Novus Ordo rules of abstinence. Today has traditionally been a day of abstinence, according to pre-conciliar laws.

  4. Even under the rules of the reformed liturgy, the Friday during the Octave of Christmas is still a day of abstinence. It is the Friday of Easter Week when abstinence is optional, not the Friday of Christmas Week. There is no rule or even suggestion that the Octave of a Solemnity is a time when abstinence is "wrong minded." The only reason abstinence is optional on Easter Friday is due to the joy of the resurrection, not due to Easter being a solemnity.


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