Q: Why do Catholics eat fish on Friday? …………….Kathy, S
A: A more accurate description is that Catholics abstain from eating warm-blooded flesh meat on Friday. This was a day of penance imposed by the Church to commemorate the day of the Crucifixion. Sadly, many Catholics do not realize that the Friday abstinence rule is still in effect. The post-Vatican II modification in Church law only allowed the consumption of meat if some other sacrifice or good work was substituted in its place, such as saying Rosaries, or doing good works.
An interesting note, McDonalds created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich because they noticed that hamburger sales dropped considerably on Fridays. Sales picked up after they introduced the fish sandwich.
Some, more devoted Catholics, make abstinence a bigger part of their spiritual practice during lent by limiting meat to one meal a day and strictly observing the Friday and Ash Wednesday meatless venue.
Q: Where does the word “Easter” come from and how does that relate to the religious celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection? …………………………………George, S
A: An interesting question, wondering how bunnies and eggs relate to crosses and lilies. That would make a very confusing Easter card for children, bunnies hiding eggs behind crosses and in tombs with angels
The Venerable Bede, (672-735CE) a Christian scholar, asserted in his writings that Easter was named after Eostre, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people, with similar forms in other cultures known as Ostare, Ostara, Eastur, Eastra, Austron, etc. Her name derives from the ancient word for spring:”eastre.”
The rabbit is a well known symbol of fertility and in various parts of the world it symbolizes the Mother Goddess, the Goddess of Spring and rebirth. The Babylonians believed an egg of wondrous size fell to earth from heaven and the Goddess Astarte was hatched and became known as the Goddess Easter. Many other cultures have similar stories.
The word Easter does not appear in the original biblical scriptures and appears to have been an attempt to “Christianize” pagan celebrations. Adopting the name Easter in remembrance of Christ seems to have obscured the focus for many. Perhaps the Christian celebration should be named Resurrection Sunday and not Easter.
Gratitude for the end of the winter and rebirth of the bounteous fruits of spring are worthy of their own celebration. Enjoy the beginning of Spring while honoring your own traditions.
Have a question, or is there something you’ve always wondered about?
Ask Madalyn invites your questions.
- Wednesday, 04 April 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn