The Book of Genesis discusses all the animals and plants made by God. Moreover, the book also says that eating any animal or plant doesn’t make a man evil as plants and animals made by God are good for humans. However, despite so much positivity created by God in the form of food, some Catholics abstain from certain food types on specific days.
For example, they abstain from eating meat on Good Friday, Fridays in Lent, and Ash Wednesday. The reason behind such abstinence is the death of Christ and also his teachings being imparted to his people. Let’s explore why Christians eat fish on Friday.
The Significance of Fasting
In the Catholic belief, a person should express his gratitude while eating. Fasting is a religious tradition among Christians as Jesus himself initiated it. While Jesus encouraged his people to fast, he didn’t ask them to avoid any specific kind of food. The sole purpose behind fasting is to make people realize the value of food. We see it around us all the time. There are so many humans that are dying because of hunger.
Fasting makes people realize what it’s like to live without food. Therefore, when they finally get to break their fast, they eat with a lot of gratitude. On days when you get food at your normal time, you don’t feel thankful enough. Besides making you feel grateful for it, food becomes more flavorsome if you have it after several hours.
Why Do Christians Eat Fish on Friday?
In ancient times, eating meat was a luxury, enjoyed only by the rich and powerful. Peasants had to work ridiculously hard to include meat into their everyday diet. On the flip side, Jesus lived a fairly simple life, free from luxuries.
To ensure that the early Christians were able to save money and stay away from things that could drain them of their finances, the Apostles instructed them to eat fish on friday, as it was cheaper to do so. They were fishermen, after all. This tradition has been passed down through the centuries and is why Christians eat fish on Fridays during Lent.
Does Every Christian Eat Fish on Fridays?
On a Friday, Christians attend Holy Mass and pray to Jesus to forgive them for all of their wrongdoings. To know more about the custom of eating Fish on Fridays, it is better to refer to the Hebrew Scriptures. They talk about a deadly sea creature known as Leviathan, which was known to cause death. Besides being food for the locals, fish also symbolizes the evil sea creature Leviathan. Therefore, eating fish on Friday also symbolizes good’s victory over evil.
For Catholics, the act of eating fish on Fridays also implies that Christ fought the deadly sea creature and won. As a result, the dangerous sea monster has been vanquished and is now being served to the humans as food. Most devout Christian communities have their connections with fishing industries, which supply them with large bulks of fish for Fridays.
Do Protestants Eat Fish on Friday?
The answer is “no,” protestants do not eat fish on Fridays. The reason is, Christ didn’t ask his people to abstain from any form of food as long as they spoke good words and committed good deeds. With this in mind, Protestants do not conform to the idea of eating fish and abstaining from eating meat on Fridays. They believe that the kind of food a person eats says nothing about the kind of person they are. To them, what’s more important is that a person should talk and act right.
They believe that a person must have a good heart and a good soul. Furthermore, they also believe that a person’s words and actions will be taken into account by God. They also believe that a person shouldn’t observe fasting only when he has limited food options. Therefore, they eat meat and fish whenever they want, regardless of whether it is a Friday or any other day of the week, month, or year.
What If a Christian Eats Meat on Fridays?
If a Catholic eats meat on a Good Friday, Lent Fridays, or on Ash Wednesday, there are no consequences that the Bible speaks of. It must be remembered that choosing to abstain from meat on Friday is an act of penance. Different people can choose their own forms of penance.
As such, eating meat on Friday, whether accidental or on purpose, does not carry an air of sin with it, despite what some people may tell you. However, if you’re looking to follow your faith to the T, you should ideally follow all customs and traditions.
The Final Word
Catholics and Protestants have conflicting views over whether or not to have meat on Fridays. Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as to symbolize good’s victory over evil. They also abstain from meat because Christ did not live a luxurious life, while meat was enjoyed only by the rich.
Protestants, on the other hand, emphasize more on noble words and deeds rather than the kind of food a person eats. Therefore, they eat meat or fish whenever they want. Both approaches make sense in one way or another.