Can you eat meat on a Holy Thursday?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat meat on a Holy Thursday?”, and provide information on what could be consumed on Holy Thursday, whether Holy Thursday is important for Christians, and the law on fasting.

Can you eat meat on a Holy Thursday?

No, you cannot eat meat on a Holy Thursday. You can eat fish, milk, grains, veggies, and fruits but meat like chicken, beef, pork, and deer cannot be consumed.

Smaller meals need to be consumed on Thursday. You would need to give up consuming chocolate and chicken. If you are giving up meat or any other food, you would need to avoid consuming them for 40 days. 

What can be consumed instead of meat on Holy Thursday?

You can consume fish or fish-based products instead of meat. Vegetable or fruit-based dishes are also available. Salads can also be consumed. There are gluten-free options available that can be eaten too.

Why is Holy Thursday important for Christians?

Holy Thursday is an important week for Christians. After this week, there is death, crucifixion, and then the resurrection of Christ.

40 days of prayers along with fasting would be done on these days. This makes it a very holy time for Christians.

On Thursday night, it is believed that Jesus had the final meal along with the disciples. After that night, Jesus was caught and then crucified.

What are the laws on fasting by the Church?

Latin Rite Catholics (Catholics who attend the Latin church) would need to fast after the age of 18 years unless there is a firm reason to not do so.

They should firmly avoid consuming meat. Only one meal a day should be consumed according to Pope Paul VI. However, this does not mean that the individuals cannot consume meals in the evening or morning. A small number of meals can be eaten.

An individual can have one full meal or two small meals making up to one full meal. Drinks such as coffee, tea, or juices can be consumed. 

Milk can be consumed as well though it is thought to be better to avoid consuming milk. Coffee or tea without milk can be consumed as it is thought to be virtuous. 

Can meat juices be consumed?

According to US bishops, meat sauces or cravings can be consumed. The meat of animals or birds is not allowed. Soups flavored with meat-based seasonings or condiments can be consumed too.

Milk or other products made from animal fat are not restricted either. Eggs can be eaten too.

Which individuals should not fast?

Individuals who suffer from chronic illnesses should not fast. Individuals who suffer from mental or physical illnesses are exempt from the process of fasting too. Pregnant or lactating women should not fast either.

Individuals who are diabetic should not be allowed to fast either as their condition can deteriorate from fasting as well. Elderly people and children cannot fast too.

What are some meals to consume on a Holy Thursday?

  • Unleavened bread can be a good source of carbs and help provide you with energy on Holy Thursday. You can accompany them with a glass of white or red wine.
  • Mashed potatoes can be an amazing and simple dish that could be consumed during Holy Thursday. For preparing them, you would need to peel the potatoes and then keep them in a saucepan.

Add cold water to the potatoes and keep them on the stove. Allow the water to boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes. After the time period is over, mash the potatoes. 

Melt the butter and add cream. You can add milk as well and mix them well. Herbs along with salt and pepper can be added to season the potatoes.

  • Cooked spinach can be a perfect side dish or accompaniment to many main dishes. 
  • Applesauce can be another accompaniment to a large meal that could be consumed on a Holy Thursday.
  • Hot cross buns can be a yummy snack that could be consumed by adults and children alike.
  • Pretzels can be consumed any day too.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat meat on a Holy Thursday?”, and provided information on what could be consumed on Holy Thursday, whether Holy Thursday is important for Christians, and the law on fasting.


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