Why does the Church teach abstaining from meat on Fridays during and
outside of Lent?
The reason for not eating meat is twofold:
- Eating meat is considered a luxury protein item, in that for too many people, it
tastes better than other forms of protein, so by abstaining from eating meat,
are making an act of penance. It is also considered a luxury item in
that many throughout the world do not have the financial resources to eat meat
on a daily (or on a regular) basis. In abstaining meat we are also
expressing solidarity with the poor throughout the world.
- Since meat has blood in it, by abstaining from eating meat for our
nourishment, we are saying that our only true nourishment is Jesus' Body and
The reason why Friday is selected for the penitential act of abstaining from
meat, is because Friday commemorates Christ's crucifixion. By doing the
penitential act on Friday, we remind ourselves that we are sinners, and that
Jesus died for our sins.