Traditions – Lenten Meatless Friday’s: There’s Meat and Then There’s Meat


Blackened catfish fillets. Meat that is lent approved.
Meat that is technically OK for lent, but does not meet the definition of a food representing sacrifice. (Most would strike beer from their Friday lent diet too.)

Sure, there’s only one Friday of fasting left for this Lenten season, but…better late than never. We posted this in 2021 shortly after Fat Tuesday. This year on Maundy Thursday.

Lenten fasting and abstinence. Millions of people will abstain from meat during this the Holiest of seasons for the Christian faith.

My Catholic friends understand the rituals and their meanings better than most Protestants. I mean, really, why isn’t fish defined as meat? This is the question that I asked Beth. Well…maybe not in those exact words.

The answer goes back to 1966 when Pope Paul VI defined meat as “carnis” in regard to abstinence, a word that refers specifically to mammals and birds. So, technically and biologically fish is meat, but not in the way that Pope Paul the 6th defined it.

Beth didn’t use those exact words either. I used The Google for the previous paragraph. However, she described it accurately to the Pope’s definition.

The meat of mammals and fowl were once considered the food of grand celebrations while the eating of fish was associated with the diet of the poor. In the spirit of sacrifice and fasting, not all fish ‘should’ be consumed during lent.

While there is no prohibition to eating lobster or shrimp or any other higher end fish, it misses the point of recognizing Jesus’ suffering and sharing our blessings with the poor.

On a lighter note. The explanation of Lenten meat explains the propensity of some wait staff to recommend fish when a vegetarian or vegan makes their meatless or no animal requests. They are confusing true meatless with Lenten meatless.

Funny for carnivorous folks. For vegans and vegetarians…not so much.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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