Good Friday Drinking: Alcohol On Good Friday For Catholics?

Holy Week is one of the most important holidays for Catholics and Protestants all over the world. Good Friday tends to be one of the most important days of the entire Holy Week, since Catholics are called to fast and abstain in remembrance of this central point that all Church teaching and practice hinge upon.

However, does that mean that you cannot drink during Good Friday?

As long as it’s not used as a celebration on the somber commemoration of Good Friday, it is permissible to drink alcohol. This is only true if alcohol was not chosen as the personal sacrifice each Catholic should select for the season of Lent. In general, it is fine to drink alcohol on Good Friday.

One of the things that you should know about Good Friday is that this is the Catholic remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is why people are called to abstain as a way of respecting the solemnity of this somber day.

Is Alcohol Okay To Drink On Good Friday?

One of the most important Catholic celebrations is the period known as Holy Week, which is not exactly a celebration but is more of a commemoration of the life and death of Jesus Christ.

In fact, the Holy Week is one of the biggest periods in the Catholic calendar, as this includes several important days that Catholics need to keep in mind so that they will know how to behave during those days properly.

Good Friday is the day in Holy Week that Catholics remember as the day that their savior died and sacrificed himself.

Good Friday is supposed to be a somber day for Catholics because they have to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ in a way that is in line with what the day is supposed to be about. That means that they should be making acts of sacrifice as well.

And for the Catholic Church, the best way to commemorate Jesus on Good Friday is through fasting and abstinence.

When we are talking about fasting and abstinence, we are talking about the act of limiting our food intake and abstaining from certain types of food.

This is similar to what the Muslims do during Ramadhan, as they are not allowed to eat while the sun is still up. And for the Catholics, fasting and abstinence should be followed during Good Friday as a way for them to give up something that is important to them to commemorate how Jesus Christ gave up his own life.

So, because we are talking about fasting and abstinence on Good Friday, you should be limiting your meals while also avoiding certain types of food. But are you also called to give up drinking on Good Friday? Is it bad to drink on Good Friday?

The good news for different people all over the world is that alcohol is actually allowed on Good Friday. You are perfectly allowed to drink on Good Friday. However, because Good Friday is indeed a somber day, you may want to limit your drinking in such a way that it should not be something that you are doing for fun.

Of course, you will want to avoid drinking too much on Good Friday to the point that you would end up getting drunk. For Catholics, drinking alcohol like Christ did is not a sin, but getting inebriated most definitely is.

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Why Are You Allowed To Drink Alcohol On Good Friday?

As mentioned, drinking is actually allowed on Good Friday. But we did say that the Catholic Church calls Catholics all over the world to fast and abstain during Good Friday. So, why is it that you are allowed to drink alcohol on Good Friday?

When you look at Church law and what it says regarding fasting and abstinence on Good Friday, what you will learn is that everything is in relation to food.

The fasting that the Church talks about here is in relation to how many meals you should be eating during Good Friday, as the rule states that you should only have one full meal and two smaller meals.

Meanwhile, abstinence on Good Friday refers only to meat, which you should not be consuming.

Specifically, the United States Conference on Catholic Bishops specifically wrote that “A person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.”

If you look at what the statement says, it is quite silent as to what you can or cannot drink and how much you are allowed to drink. Nothing in the statement or even in Church law says anything about liquids such as water and other types of beverages. In fact, the only type of food that the Church is rather specific about are solid foods. 

In that sense, there is nothing in Church law that you are not allowed to drink alcohol during Good Friday. There isn’t even anything that says that you should be limiting your alcohol consumption during that day.

So, in a way, the fact that the Church is silent as to whether or not you can drink alcohol is what makes alcohol an allowable drink during Good Friday.

So, while you may abstain from different types of food and from eating too much on Good Friday, you are still allowed to commemorate the day by drinking alcohol. There are even plenty of different churches all over the United States following up their Good Friday service with beer and pretzels.

This includes the Oratory of St. Boniface in Brooklyn, New York.

The choice of whether or not you should drink on Good Friday is something that is entirely up to the person. There might be some smaller Catholic groups that do not allow their members to drink alcohol on Good Friday. But the fact of the matter is that, as a whole, the Church does not say anything against alcohol on Good Friday. And that silence alone is more than enough to make alcohol consumption allowable for Catholics.

Is It A Sin For Christians To Drink Alcohol?

Alcohol like many things is neither good nor evil in and of itself. The Bible speaks many times about Jesus and all of his followers partaking. Many cultures used wine instead of water due to poor sanitary conditions and others did it for tradition and cultural practices.

Some Protestant groups that broke away from the Catholic Church in the 16th century outlawed the practice because some abuse its use. Yet, the Catholic Church has no such prohibition. The problem comes with excess or abusing alcohol to become morally compromised by drunkenness.

So, for some Protestant ecclesial communities it would be deemed a sin, but for other Protestants groups it is not. As for the Catholic Church which traces its history back for 2000 years, they stand with the example of Christ and others in Sacred Scripture when they don’t condemn its use unless it is in excess.

Wrapping Up Alcohol On Good Friday…

For some of the nearly 39,000 Protestant denominations, drinking alcohol at any point is condemned. For others, including many mainline Protestant groups, it is not.

For Catholics there is no problem drinking alcohol in moderation any day, including Good Friday.

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