FRIDAYS IN LENT are days of abstinence or fast in commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus.  Abstaining from a usual pleasure and giving its cost to the poor is an age-old way of keeping these days of special devotion.  Other ways include abstention from television, meat, a meal, alcohol, or sweets.  Traditionally, fish (not crab, lobster, or other expensive seafood) is eaten on both Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent, in remembrance of the ‘sign of the fish’ used as a password by Christians during Roman persecutions.  The Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthus), was used as an anagram/acrostic for "Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ", (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour".  This affirmation of faith gained access to the secret meetings of Christians and the Holy Eucharist.  A box of sand could be presented with an imprint in it made by the ridge of the hand.  A Christian would know to place the opposite hand’s ridge in the sand next to it to create a “fish outline” in the sand.  Getting it right got you in.  If not, the deacons threw you out, or, everyone scattered!