Can you eat chicken during Lent?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Can you eat chicken during Lent?” and will discuss the Catholic days when you cannot eat chicken and why.

Can you eat chicken during Lent?

Throughout Lent, chicken is acceptable. Only Ash Wednesday and also Lenten Fridays presently qualify as days of fasting throughout Lent. So, as long as it’s not Ash Wednesday or a Friday during Lent, a Catholic may eat chicken or any other meat on that day. 

The law used to apply to all weekdays and Saturdays throughout Lent as well as every Friday that wasn’t a liturgical solemnity (feast), but after the Second Vatican Council, it was loosened to its current position.

This austerity is necessary because it represents a kind of “standard” asceticism that almost all healthy individuals can adopt. 

It’s a manner of routinely depriving oneself as a matter of spiritual discipline, which has been a long practice in Christianity. Due to its generally melancholy and repentant nature, Lent is the season of austerity, which is why it is still observed during that time. 

Whether or not you choose to fast during Lent is entirely up to you. On Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, we are never required to observe an absolute fast or forbidden from eating chicken or other sorts of meat. 

One can perform a nice deed and maintain their mind free of any negative thoughts in place of keeping a fast or praying for 8 to 9 hours every day.

On Good Friday, is chicken permissible?

You can, even though some Catholics choose not to. It appears that the Good Friday meat-eating ban has been completely abandoned. This judgement is still enforceable and valid under current Church law.

The day before Easter Sunday, known as Good Friday, is observed by Catholics all around the world. The fact that the holy day falls on the final Friday of Lent, a 40-day Catholic tradition in which meat is abstained from on Fridays, is another contributing reason.

According to Learn Religions, the Catholic Church mandates that all Catholics who are 14 years of age and older abstain from eating meat and other animal products every Friday during Lent, especially on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday.

What makes some people avoid chicken on Good Friday?

Strong arguments support the Church’s long-standing custom of fasting on Friday and abstaining from chicken and other meat. The first is that every Christian should live simply. A fundamental component of Christian spirituality is this.

Temperance can be successfully acquired by engaging in such behaviour, according to the Catholic Catechism, which describes it as the “moral virtue that helps regulate the predisposition to pleasures and seeks balance in the use of created resources.”

It guarantees that “the will prevails over inclinations” and that “desire is restrained to the limits of honesty.” The Church established fasting to control the lusts of the flesh, which are motivated by gastronomic and sexual delights.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that Saint Thomas Aquinas’ discipline permitted eating dairy, pork, and poultry on days other than Fridays and Wednesdays. Friday has been celebrated as a day of penance ever since the apostolic era. Fast days were set for Wednesday and Friday. 

The church was a major supporter of the formation of this habit. However, I, Pope Nicholas, transformed what had previously just been a Middle Ages tradition into law in the ninth century.

People began to fast on Saturdays even in the Middle Ages as a way to show respect for the virgin Mary. As a result, there were two days of penance before the weekly Passover before the major Day of the Lord, which was Sunday.

This practice has waned through time as a result of the ups and downs of the Church, and some Christians have even started to wonder if they are required to abstain on Fridays or whether breaking this commandment is considered a serious or minor sin.

It is a serious sin, according to a 13th-century edict from Pope Innocent III. Pope Alexander VII also condemned anyone who claimed that it wasn’t as serious of sin as it had been in the 17th century.

Before the new Code of Canon Law’s introduction in 1983, this practice was common. 

According to Canon 1251, “on every Friday of the year, save when they coincide with a day mentioned among the solemnities, abstinence from chicken, other meat, or other food is required.”

When it comes to this canon, devoted Catholics may substitute the sacrifice of flesh with a benevolent act, a virtuous deed, or even only a bit of another food.

On Friday, fasting and abstaining from meat can benefit the spirituality of true believers while also providing an opportunity for others to see and receive catechesis. 

By publicly renouncing such delight out of love for Christ, one can inspire others to seek the Beloved, to whom the sacrifices are made. 

Last but not least, it’s critical to keep in mind that the Friday meat fast has always been associated with the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is vital to reinstall it to deepen our commitment to the One who gave his Blood as well as his life out of love for us helpless humans.


In this short article, we answered the question “Can you eat chicken during Lent?” and discussed the Catholic days when you cannot eat chicken and why.


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