Friday 13 May 2011

Fish on Friday

Thanks to Fr Z for reporting that the Bishops of England and Wales are reinstating the Friday penance - abstinence from meat and fowl starting from Friday 16th October 2011. We've done this for many years anyway (and abstained from desert on Fridays too: how holy are we?! ;-) and it's been been a small but important part of building a Catholic culture within our home. These days it's not such a huge sacrifice to avoid meat, and many types of fish are a luxury -- far more so than meat. However for a family of carnivores like mine it is a big deal, and as well as sticking to the rule by avoiding meat we also try to keep to the spirit by also avoiding luxurious non-meat meals (there would be no sacrifice in sitting down to a large plate of smoked salmon, for example).

I'm pleased by the reinstatement of the Friday penance - it won't change what we do but it will mean that other Catholic families we know, many of whom don't avoid meat on Fridays ("What? o people still do that?!" or "Oh, my Mum/Granny/Crazy Aunt  used to do that") might just start to do so now, and for my children that means more people sharing yet another little element of common Catholic culture. 

Thank-you Bishops of England and Wales!

...but I'm with Fr John Boyle when he asks "Can we have our Holydays of Obligation back as well?"

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