This is how explain it to my children and non-Catholics
Jesus gave up His flesh for us on Friday. We give up flesh/meat for Him on Friday.To show our respect and thanks to Him.
And it must be warm blooded animal flesh we give up,because Jesus’ blood was warm.
Cold blooded animals (fish) are ok to eat or no meat at all.
We do alot of meatless dinners. And some fish on fridays.
Some go all year long,every Friday. Friday is a reminder. And every Sunday Catholics go through Holy Week during the Mass.
When the priest walks down the main aisle with us singing as he walks to the altar, we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the people singing His praise.
When the priest stands behind the altar and holds up the Host (Latin for Victim) and the cup and says the words Jesus said,we remember Holy Thursday and The Last Supper.
When the priest breaks the Host and pours the water into the cup,we remember Jesus on the cross and the water and blood that came out of His side on Good Friday.
And when the priest adds the a piece of the Host into the cup we remember when Jesus rose from the dead His Body and Blood back together on Easter Sunday.
Then the priest says The Mass (Latin for dismissed) has ended go to love and to serve. We remember Jesus and His words.
The Mass is a long prayer. Come pray the Mass with us!