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Name derived from the Old English frigedaeg, day of Frig', the goddess wife of Odin, supreme Norse deity. It is the sixth day of the week that since early Christian times was specially dedicated to a commemoration of the Savior's Passion. Every Friday calls for some act of penance when abstinence from meat is not observed. This is a matter of obligation as decreed by Pope Paul VI in 1966 in the apostolic constitution Paenitemini (Norm II, 2).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.