Friday, September 16, 2011

Not a Sausage

I am sure you all remember Fridays in England and Wales are from today meatless.

I don't know how easy it is to get genies back into bottles once they are released but I think this an important step forward. I don't think I have ever eaten meat on Fridays, an Italian priest staying with me thought my abstinence was just another sign of my reactionary tendencies. Europe has largely abandoned abstinence I think it was one of the important factors in it secularisation.

There was a time when the last sign of lapsation was eating a ham sandwich on a Friday, older lapsed people tended to retain abstinence whilst the practicing, "in touch" with the Church, had given it up.
I'd be interested to know what happens in our school canteens today, maybe that might take a bit of time to work through.

We teach by signs and symbols, meatless Fridays says a great deal. It talks about asceticism as part of Christian life, it speaks about Catholicism touching the whole week, not Sundays, it speaks too about faith and our bodies, our diet, our choices about entertainment, public witness and a great deal more. It also says Catholics are different.

I really do commend our bishops on this initiative, including my own who I think was one of the" movers" on this, as a piece of practical catechesis it is worth a thousand sermons.

32 comments:

pelerin said...

And don't forget the fish dance folks! - (see Linen on the Hedgerow today.)

Just another mad Catholic said...

This may sound Jesuitical Father but do Quorn products come under the new ban? For even though they instatuate the FORM of a burger they are composed of different matter.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Jack, Quorn is ok, except it could give scandal if others think it is meat, I suppose.
If it tastes like meat..., well I suppose the mortified will eat sand, but then Quorn tastes a bit like sand to me.

georgem said...

I wish you hadn't mentioned sausage, Father. There are four plump, juicy beef sausages in the fridge just begging to be eaten (not all at once), which seem all the more attractive because I can't have them today.
Oh, well, it'll be Birds Eye fish cakes, then, which is an improvement on the plain boiled fish and potatoes we used to get at school.
There is that wonderful Bardsleys fish'n'chip place in Brighton but I guess that would militate against the idea of mortification.
I believe that Quorn would be okay, unless you are a veggie, in which case I think you're meant to opt for something less appealing.

Gigi said...

...quorn tastes a lot like`sand to me, and I'm a vegetarian!
Still not sure what the guidance is for veggies on "no meat" days. I could just not eat vegetables but this seems unrealistic.
In the absence of any other advice, I've decided not to have chocolate or desserts on Fridays. I just wondered what other veggies would be doing?

pelerin said...

Another perhaps Jesuitical question - does the ruling pertain to British Catholics wherever they may be or as I understand used to be the rule is it the country itself? In other words do you still obey the Church ruling of the country you find yourself in or is it now our nationality which counts?

YE OLDE JARRA SCRIBE said...

Fr Ray
No doubt this is a positive move by the hierarchy in the right direction however, who will take notice to the Bishops directive; only old folks myself who adhere to the old disciplines anyhow, also especially in this economic climate: Fish is more expensive then Meat! Great post.

(The Jarrow Scriptorium)

MARYFA said...

Unless some instruction is given by priests this will fall flat. In my parish (Leeds Diocese) nothing has been said from the pulpit or in the bulletin. the diocese has maintained a strict silence. How many Catholics know about the change?

nickbris said...

Nobody ever told me that meat was permitted on Friday,and even when I was at sea I think fish was always customary on Friday.

In Norway fish seems to be on the menu every day so one would not get to hear about the changes.

thelicensedfool said...

On the subject of Quorn - I have managed to keep a pack of Quorn Sausages in the freezer for about the last 3 years because every time I get them out I decide I am not that desperate and put them back again.

Fish it is then, although it will have to be processed. I have a policy of never eating food that can wink back at me.

LF

Anthony Jordan said...

My parish priest mentioned it last Sunday, and yet I still forgot and ate my ham sandwich at lunch. I didn't enjoy it very much though.

Amfortas said...

I understand Catholic schools are asking parents not to put meat in their children's packed lunches on Fridays.

JARay said...

I rather think that the answer to Pelerin's question is that you obey the rules of the place in which you are at the time when Friday comes round. Here in Australia there has been no re-introduction of Friday abstinence so Pelerin could eat meat if he were here on a Friday.
I abstain anyway because of choice and my family knows and respects that, so they expect fish on a Friday if they are in my house.

David O'Neill said...

I'm sure it depends on the bishop whether it is mentioned or not. Here (in the frozen north) our bishop has made no mention.
As to your lunch Father, if you carry on having TWO eggs you'll finish up my size!

Fr Ray Blake said...

David, I have't lunched yet, I think it is Fr Tim who has. Wrong blog perhaps?

epsilon said...

There's never a prayer at morning assemblies at our non-religious state school, but the canteen does fish, chips and veggie dishes on a Friday

Juventutem London said...

A further jesuitical question - is it a sin, and if so, is it gravely so?

We give answering that a go here:

http://juventutemlondon.blogspot.com/2011/09/eating-meat-on-friday-is-mortal-sin.html

Hint: We think the answer is yes.

nickbris said...

It's a sin to be STOOPID

Highland Cathedral said...

School canteens? We called ours a refectory. Glasgow (state-funded, non-denominational). We always had fish and chips on Fridays. I spent two months earlier this year in another school in Glasgow (private, non-denominational). Again, it provided fish and chips on many Fridays although there were also other options.
A restaurant belonging to a chain near where I live advertises Friday as ‘Fish Night’. Sorry, I don’t know the Friday menus in Glasgow’s Catholic schools.

I’d also like to know the answer to Perelin’s question although at the moment the ruling only applies to England and Wales and not the whole of Britain. We Scots are still allowed to eat meat on Fridays although some of us choose not to.

To Quorn, or not to Quorn... said...

If quorn meats are not meats but made of a different matter, then how does the taste get into a bacon or sausage quorn? Is the flavour added from juices from REAL sausage or bacon (like bacon crisps)? If so, would this not invalidate quorn 'meat' products? Does anyone have an answer?

bernadette said...

MY children came home from school having had an assembly about it and a letter for parents. So, yes, I think the schools have been sending out the message. The school dinner menu was vegetarian pizza or cheesepie and chips. Looks like they got the message. I expect it's the parishes that will file the message in the bin and dismiss the rest of us as right wing reactionary loonies...

Just another mad Catholic said...

@To quorn or not to Quorn

Remember that many flavours can be created artificially these days; also from experience I can tell you than Quorn burgers taste ALOT different from Beef/lamb burgers.

Physiocrat said...

Not meat does not equal fish.

How about a bit of originality and going for things like Dal Masala? You can make a lot and keep it in the freezer. The leftovers can be used for soup.

Then there is humous, which tastes better when home made.

gemoftheocean said...

Lovely. the opportunity to commit or not commit a sin depending on where you are standing....

Peter said...

Well not just standing Gem.
No doubt British Airways will delight in not offering Catholic meals to complement their Halal and Kosher meals.

Lee Terry Lovelock-Jemmott said...

From what I remember, abstinence is still strictly speaking,the spiritual and legal norm. The only difference is this lamentable and dangerously 'devilish' activity of granting 'dispensation' so we can do one or the other right ! I'm all for scrapping most dispensations because most wreak and are nothing more than aberrations on the Holy Mother Church.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, TRUE, Peter. I can remember flying on Good Friday once. [Not BA] NOT. ONE. NON. MEAT. DISH. Torqued me off. The most important day of the year for millions of Christians and apparently NOT. ONE. _PRACTICING_ Catholic/Orthodox Christian/Similar on staff to say '....say, this day is really important to Christians, do you suppose we could manage a veggie or fish dish?" The thing to do is call ahead and specifically mention you need a veggie dish.

And here's a bit of trivia for you: 1) years and years ago the cheeses in the hierarchy decided that Catholic heads of state and other such exalted luminaries did not have to follow the 'no meat' rule when at some public function on a Friday so as not to give offense to the hosts. [Sorry I read about this years ago and unfortunately can't cite the reference, but I'm sure a few other people might be able to.] So nice to know the rules only applied to 'the little people.'

2) [you can win money on this one]
What was the main course to be given at the luncheon scheduled for JFK at the Dallas Trade Mart Nov. 22, 1963 (the destination of JFK that was not reached on that fateful day.]?

And the answer is: STEAK

...tell the nice people what they've won, Johnny...

Physiocrat said...

There is nearly always an Indian vegetarian option for institutional meals. These usually consist of some kind of lentil or chickpea curry. They withstand mistreatment, re-heating etc.

I had them at Haywards Heath hospital when I was in overnight earlier this year. They are delicious.

Peter said...

Thanks Gem
I am pleased to see that the café at my daughter's school is serving fish on Friday: "Make the right choice each Friday," tweets the head.

gemoftheocean said...

Sorry this question is coming in late, but for Bernadette and Peter, how old are your 'children?' I do hope the SCHOOLS realize that real CHILDREN [not teens] are not subject to the laws of abstinence until the age of 14.

Personally, I think it was a bad move to change the age of being subject to this rule from age 7. From age 7, a child would stand a good chance of inculcating 'no meat on Friday' into a life-time habit. Much harder, I'd think to get in the habit when one is 14.

Anthony Jordan said...

In a fit of absent mindedness I made myself another ham sandwich today, but at least this time I didn't eat it.

Mitch said...

I wish the US Bishops would vote on the same measure. To restore meatless Fridays. I try to remember to abstain every Friday but often I forget the day of the week and since it is no longer practiced I have no reminders around me. We need the unity it came with originally. Glad to hear England and Wales took the lead. I will participate from across the seas.