St. Joseph Feast Day Exemption from Lenten Requirement to Abstain from Meat

March 16, 2010

While Fridays in Lent normally are a day of abstinence from meat for Catholics, canon law provides an exception for solemnities that fall on a Friday, as the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) does this year. Therefore, Catholics are not obligated to maintain the usual Lenten abstinence this Friday, March 19.

Canon 1251 notes, “Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.”

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