Statement of the Archdiocese of Washington on Dispensation from Eating Meat on Friday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lent is the 40-day penitential period before Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Guidelines in the United States require Catholics age 14 and older to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

The memorial of Saint Patrick falls on a Friday this year. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington has granted Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington a dispensation (an exemption) from the obligation to abstain from eating meat on Friday, March 17, 2017. Catholics who avail themselves of this dispensation are encouraged to consider abstaining from eating meat the following day.