Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Penance on Fridays

Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring... it's still only Wednesday. But I came across the following rueful post by Fr. Jay of Young Fogeys, and it was just too good to leave until Friday...

It would appear that the traditional Friday Penance (at least in the season of Lent) is taken far more seriously in the USA than it is over here in the UK. Not eating meat on Fridays has all but died out... and, predictably, the emphasis on an "alternative" Friday penance has likewise died a death.



It just goes to show that the outward signs and symbols of our glorious faith really do matter...

8 comments:

Ma Beck said...

Mac,
Chicago is such a Catholic city that on Fridays of Lent, that's all the advertising you see - "Fish Fry Tonight", "2 for 1 fish sandwiches", "Cheese Pizza special".
We were laughing because we went into a Taco Bell and there on the wall, in official, professionally done Taco Bell advertising, was "Lent Special: Bean Burrito and Cheese Enchilada" or some such thing.
Still, I managed to forget last Friday....
(Sigh.)

Simon-Peter said...

Even here in North Carolina (95% prot), all the parishes and Knights of Columbus do Fish frys. True, a lot of folks haven't figured out the old firday substitution thingie, but a surprising number if they eat meat, do give up someting licit (i.e. lawful and something they would normally do).

Stephen Wikner said...

Trouble is, fish is no penance in my book. I'd eat it every day of the week if I could afford to!

Mac McLernon said...

It isn't the fact that one dislikes fish that makes it a penance... it's the fact that you have to think about what you're doing, and not have meat on Fridays...

...it can be difficult, especially if you like to go out for dinner!

dadwithnoisykids said...

Cooking meat smells better on Fridays. A lot of the Noisykids and my wife have shellfish allergies, so they can't enjoy things like lobster or shrimp.

I recall one Friday night coming home to an empty house, and deciding to grill some mahi-mahi filets. Within minutes of starting to grill the fish, I had both of our dogs and all of the cats circling around me.

Stephen Wikner said...

But the penance is still based on the assumption - incorrect in my case - that meat is the desirable/default choice when one thinks about what one's going to eat when pushing the trolley up and down the aisles at Waitrose; or - in Mac's case - perusing the menu in some posh restaurant.

4HisChurch said...

Well, we could try to follow the Eastern Rite's fasting which involves giving up animal products altogether on Fridays (and Wednesdays too, I think). Somehow, I find the more drastic abstinence easier to remember.

Simon-Peter said...

I'm not sure what the big deal is.

It goes like this: don't eat meat. In fact, why not eat something you don't really like? Not my idea...it's as old as the Church.

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