Can you eat meat on good Friday?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Can you eat meat on Good Friday?” and will show you why.

Can you eat meat on Good Friday?

You can, but some Catholics chose not. It appears that the Good Friday meat-eating prohibition has been completely abandoned. However, this decision is still legitimate and in full force under the present Church legislation.

Good Friday, the day before Easter Sunday, will be observed by Catholics worldwide Friday. Additionally, the holy day falls on the last Friday of Lent, a 40-day Catholic tradition during which people refrain from consuming meat on Fridays.

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

Why some people do not eat meat on Good Friday?

The Church has long practised abstaining from meat and fasting on Friday, and there are compelling reasons to support this practice. The first of these is that every Christian must live an austere lifestyle. A fundamental tenet of Christian spirituality is this.

By engaging in such behaviour, one can successfully cultivate the virtue of temperance, which is described by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the “moral virtue that moderates the inclination to pleasures and seeks balance in the use of created goods.”

It guarantees “the supremacy of the will over instincts and confines desire to the limits of honesty”. 

“Fasting was created by the Church to control the lusts of the body, whose purpose is the sense pleasures of the table and sexual relations,” according to Saint Thomas Aquinas. 

It is crucial to keep in mind that discipline at Saint Thomas’ time included eating meat, eggs, and dairy products on addition to Fridays as well as Wednesdays.

The tradition of making Friday a day of penance dates back to the apostolic era. According to the Didache, an early Christian catechism, fasting was observed on Wednesday and Friday. Even the Church of the East upholds this practice.

The Holy Fathers likewise strongly promoted the consolidation of this habit. However, Pope Nicholas, I established what had previously just been a custom as law throughout the Middle Ages in the ninth century. 

As a result, starting at the age of reason, all Christians were required to engage in penance (seven years).

People began to fast on Saturdays in reverence of Our Lady even during the Middle Ages. As a result, the weekly Passover was preceded by two days of penance before Sunday, the great Day of the Lord.

This practice has cooled down over time due to the Church’s ups and downs, and some believers have even started to doubt if they are required to abstain on Fridays and whether breaking this commandment is considered a mortal or light sin. 

In light of this, Pope Innocent III ruled that it is a grievous sin in the thirteenth century. Additionally, Pope Alexander VII condemned anyone who claimed that it was not a major sin in the 17th century. 

Before the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law in 1983, this was the practice. According to Canon 1251, “abstinence from meat or other food on all Fridays of the year, except when they coincide with a day listed among the solemnities,” is required. 

Regarding this canon, the CNBB declares that faithful Catholics may substitute giving up meat for a charitable act, a pious deed, or even for a portion of different food.

According to canon 1252 of the same Code, the legal requirement is now for people who have reached the age of fourteen, not from the age of reason as it was initially.

On Friday, abstaining from meat and fasting can benefit the spiritual lives of the faithful while also providing an opportunity for witness and catechesis for others. 

By publicly rejecting such pleasure out of love for Christ, one can inspire others to want to know the Beloved, for whom sacrifices are made.

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

Therefore, it is imperative to reinstate it in order to deepen our devotion to the One who gave his Blood and his life out of love for us helpless creatures.


In this short article, we have answered the question “Can you eat meat on Good Friday?” and have shown you why.


Leave a Comment