Friday Penance


Okay guys, I am having trouble finding good information, and need to borrow from all the great minds of this forum, so i have the following questions:

  1. Does Friday Penance automatically mean giving up meat or can it be replaced with another act of penance, and what act of penance would be acceptable.

  2. It is “just as good” to select another day, say Wednesday or Thursday to participate in penance, or is it crucial that it’s Friday?

Also, the idea of penance is somewhat fuzzy to me, growing up hearing that Catholics receive forgiveness by praying x number of hail marys, so any info about penance would be nice.

Grace and peace.


You can do penance on any day you want but Fridays are a must, and yes you may choose the penance you want to do. Personally I choose the no meat option.

CCC 1438 The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).


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!


Wow…that’s really cool. Great job!


does that make it wrong to go out and have a good time with my friends? (assuming good time = nothing sinful), or as long as i make a significant sacrifice i’m okay?


It’s your choice whether to do a token panance or a fairly severe one. In practise Friday night is often the night down the pub with the lads from work, and you are not obliged to oppose that culture.



does that make it wrong to go out and have a good time with my friends? (assuming good time = nothing sinful), or as long as i make a significant sacrifice i’m okay?

You can always practice the Jewish form of marking time - as in your Friday penance commences at sundown Thursday evening and ends at sundown Friday evening…

The important aspect is to know what you are doing and ***why ***you are doing it…

God Bless


True - and your sacrifice can be to have only the one beer. I know in some places I’ve worked that would bring on enough teasing to be a penance in itself! :nope:


I know what you mean!!


These articles have more information.



Friday Penance

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