As Catholics should know by now, we no longer (except in Lent) have to abstain from meat on Fridays BUT and this is a huge reminder, we DO have to make a sacrifice in lieu of the meat abstinence.
In the 1950’s, Venerable Pope Pius XII officially granted Americans a dispensation from the Friday abstinence of the day so they could enjoy their leftover turkey the Friday after Thanksgiving.
There was a lot of scrupulosity as the years went on after the pronouncement by Pope Pius XII that he only meant it because of the refrigeration issues in those days, etc., but what the Pope said was plain and simple was for Americans to enjoy their turkey on Friday with no reservations or caveats about the future, modern improvement in meat preservation via refrigeration.
As we are also ‘forgetful’ Catholics, our family continues with the Friday abstinence on the Fridays of the year, so were happy to learn that we are ‘required-sacrifice free’ the day after Thanksgiving Day. We can eat our turkey (or ham) without replacing the treat with another sacrifice. I’m thinking that given this dispensation, so many decades ago, we might consider a more prayerful day before, during, and after our mini-Thanksgiving meal with the leftovers on Friday. Wouldn’t hurt to send a prayer of thanksgiving in honor of Pope Pius XII, too.