For Catholics following Lenten rules of fasting and abstinence, meat should not be eaten on Good Friday or on any of the other Fridays in Lent. This practice is meant as a sacrifice and as penance for sin.
Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season, is also a day to abstain from eating meat. In the United States and many other countries, the obligations for these two holy days also include a form of fasting that limits the devout to one full meal and two smaller meals. Catholics between the ages of 14 and 59 are bound by these rules of fasting and abstinence. Traditionally, fish was substituted for meat, although there is no obligation to eat fish on these days.