Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?

In this brief article, we will address the issue of “Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?” and explain why.

Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?

Although some Catholics opt not to, you can. The Good Friday meat-eating ban seems to have been fully dropped. Under the current Church legislation, this judgement is still valid and enforceable.

Catholics around the world will mark Good Friday, the day before Easter Sunday. A further factor is that the holy day coincides with the final Friday of Lent, a 40-day Catholic practice in which meat is not consumed on Fridays.

The Catholic Church requires that all Catholics who are 14 years old and older refrain from eating meat and animal products every Friday throughout Lent, particularly on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday, according to Learn Religions.

Why do some individuals abstain from chicken and other meat on Good Friday?

There are strong arguments in favour of the Church’s long-standing practice of refraining from chicken and other meat and fasting on Friday. The first is that each Christian needs to lead a simple life. This is a basic element of Christian spirituality.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines temperance as the “moral virtue that helps regulate the tendency to pleasures and finds balance in the use of created goods,” and it can be successfully developed via the practice of such behaviour.

It ensures that “desire is constrained to the limits of honesty” and that “the will prevails over inclinations.”

According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, “Fasting was founded by the Church to regulate the lusts of the flesh, whose objective is the sense pleasures of the meal and sexual intercourse.”

It is important to remember that Saint Thomas’ discipline allowed eating meat, chicken, eggs, and dairy items on days other than Fridays and Wednesdays.

Since the apostolic era, Friday has been observed as a day of penance. The Didache, an early Christian catechism, states that Wednesday and Friday were designated as fast days. This custom is supported by the Church of the East as well.

The development of this habit was also extensively encouraged by the Holy Fathers. However, in the ninth century, I, Pope Nicholas, converted what had previously only been a custom into a Middle Ages law.

All Christians were therefore compelled to perform penance beginning at the age of reason (seven years).

Even in the Middle Ages, people started to fast on Saturdays as a sign of respect for the virgin mary. Because of this, the big Day of the Lord, Sunday, was preceded by 2 days of penance before the weekly Passover.

Due to the ups and downs of the Church, this custom has cooled with time, and some Christians have even begun to question whether they are obligated to refrain on Fridays or whether breaching this commandment is regarded as a fatal or light sin.

In consideration of this, Pope Innocent III decreed in the thirteenth century that it is a grave sin. Alexander VII, the Pope, also denounced anyone who asserted that it wasn’t a serious sin as in the 17th century.

This was the custom prior to the 1983 adoption of the new Code of Canon Law. Canon 1251 states that “on all Fridays of the year, apart from when they coincide with a day named among the solemnities, abstinence from chicken, other meat or other food is necessary.”

According to the CNBB, loyal Catholics may exchange the sacrifice of meat for a charitable gesture, a pious act, or even just a portion of another food when it comes to this canon.

The mandatory duty is now for those who have achieved the age of fourteen, rather than from the age of accountability as it was initially, as per canon 1252 of the same Code.

Fasting and avoiding meat on Friday can help the spirituality of the true believers while also giving others a chance to witness and receive catechesis.

One can encourage others to seek for the Beloved, to whom the sacrifices are made, by publicly renouncing such enjoyment out of love for Christ.

Not least, it’s important to remember that the Friday meat fast was always linked to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Passion.

In order to strengthen our dedication to the One who offered his Blood as his life out of love for us defenceless beings, it is essential to reinstate it.


In this brief article, we addressed the issue of “Can you eat chicken on Good Friday?” and explained why.


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