What DID people eat -- pre-Vatican II Lent?


Before Vatican II, abstinence from meat was only mandated on Ash Wednesday and Fridays, including during Lent.

Meat was allowed on the other days during Lent.



Fish. Fish fries were common at various places.


Okay I think I am getting different eras mixed up. Thanks everyone for the comments and clarifications!


Alligator can be tenderized, if you know what you’re doing. Its not necessarily tough.



but without pepperoni


Interesting. There are certain days where fish is permitted but not once you’re a certain number of days into Lent… it’s possible some jurisdictions relax the rules.


Anchovies are still ok, though!


Salty, salty. Never liked them.


That’s a good source for the history of fasting in the Church.

A few points to keep in mind:

That article pre-dates the 1917 Code of Canon Law. At the time it was written, there was no universal code. That’s why we read about so much diversity in fasting laws.

People are going to have different memories of fasting based on their own family traditions, themselves based on their own ethnic traditions. So we’re going to see a lot of diversity.


I found this webpage

It explains the fasting laws under the 1917 Code of Canon Law. It does a pretty good job of that.

Notice: I am posting this link for purely educational purposes. The 1917 Code has been abrogated. We are bound only by the 1983 Code. The webpage itself is posted merely as a suggestion—whoever wrote the page is not advocating ignoring the 1983 Code. In no way am I trying to imply that the old code is binding on anyone. Again, to be clear: educational purposes only. Whoever wrote the page provides several links to Vatican webpages, so they are not some sedevacante movement.


According to the strictest observance, fish is permitted only on Annunciation and Palm Sunday. Adherence varies widely among individuals, jurisdiction, and ethnic tradition. My parish has a Lazarus Saturday (the day before Palm Sunday) Fish Fry.


So even though Sundays are traditionally “little Easters,” the strictest rules of fast and abstinence applied to those also?


The thing with rabbits is that they occupy a key position within the food chain. They are a primary source of meat for most predators, whenever rabbit populations dwindle all the carnivores dwindle with them. Rabbits reproduce all year round in great numbers and are herbivores, so they keep all the carnivores fed like snakes, wolves, eagles, foxes and, of course, bears…:rofl:


Thanks for that - - very enlightening!


People raise rabbits for their meat. Just as they raise chickens for their eggs AND their meat.


Yes I know, but I was thinking back in those days (and up until recently) rabbits were so abundant you could see them everywhere. Most people hunted rabbits one way or the other. And most people I know ate rabbits without actually keeping rabbits. Contrary to chickens which were always raised at home.


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