Meat on Christmas Day


I'm not sure if this has already been covered here but, as Christmas falls on a Friday this year, are Catholics obliged to not eat meat on Christmas Day?

I know it's selfish but I hope not, because it would be a pale celebration with no turkey :S


It's not Lent. It is Christmas Day.

Prime Rib, here we come!:thumbsup:


Definitely. Solemnities such as Christmas would take precedence.


Some additional discussion on this topic here


Meat is only forbidden on Fridays during Lent. On all other Fridays of the year you must do some form of penance but you may choose what to do.


And on Christmas we should celebrate, not do penance!




[quote="dixieagle, post:6, topic:180157"]
And on Christmas we should celebrate, not do penance!


We can do both.
Penance could be in the form of an additional prayer, or a kindness to a neighbour, give something to charity or anything. A penance does not tie up your whole Christmas day.


Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

As praise_Jesus noted, Christmas is a Solemnity.


on Sundays and holy days of obligation we do NOT abstain from meat, fasting before communion is of course required, but other than that we do not have to fast or abstain on holy days.
of course like previously mentioned, we are not required on Fridays to abstain from meat except during lent, but it is still a good thing to do, because the original tradition of abstaining on Fridays was done because Jesus died on a Friday, and because He is warm blooded, we do not eat of anything warm blooded on Fridays…it is not something that was done simply because it was hard to do, and although the church does not oblige us to abstain or fast outside of lent, i still do simply because i want to, which is the most beneficial way, when we fast simply because we have to, it is not as beneficial and we do not get everything out of it we can, but when we do it because we want to(whether we have to or not) then it is very rewarding in many ways,
and quite frankly, we do ourselves no good to not fast and do penance on other days we are not required to, we do ourselves a great injustice to be lax in mortifying ourselves, mortification is a great means to gaining control over our every action, our every thought, our words, it helps us to reject every sin as well as persevere in everything we know is right,
basically, by mortification we are able to harness completely and truly the gift of our free will,
our free will is the only thing that is truly our own, it is the only thing that cannot be taken from us, not by God or anyone else(or i should say, *will *not be taken by God, although He can do all things, He has promised otherwise regarding our will)
and so it is also the only thing we can truly give to God that is ours to give,
and so because of this, it is very important for us to be in control of ourselves, we owe it to God as His good and faithful servants, out of love for Him,
so although mortification is not something we cannot be saved without, it is certainly something that without, it is much harder to get to heaven,

ok…i realize i said more then i had to, but i addressed the original question anyways e_e hope you don’t mind.


Thank you all for the thoughtful replies, it's very reassuring! I just wasn't 100% clear that there doesn't need to be abstinence / penance on Feast days.

I normally don't eat meat every Friday because meat is something I really enjoy, so it's a good form of regular penance to abstain from it once a week. That said it will be nice to have a big roast as a Christmas feast to celebrate Jesus' birth! Less than a week to go!!! :D


My penance for next friday is a look at my credit card bill............:eek: But God loves a cheerful giver!! 2 Corinthians 9:7 :)


Days of Penance

Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.

Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.


I think it was forbidden to fast at a feast in Old Testament times. Note Nehemiah 8:9-12

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them

I remember some years back some Jewish friends commented that they had to cut short a period of mourning for a parent because there was a wedding scheduled, and it took preference in their law.


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