Friday, March 19, 2010

Because I Don’t Have to Eat Fish Today

Our esteemed guest poster Allison Salerno has a nose for news. Thanks to which, I'm having steak for dinner! What, no fish on Friday during Lent?! Not thanks to my patron saint, Joseph, whose solemnity we celebrate today. I say it's just another good reason to cultivate a devotion to the husband of the Virgin Mary and the Custodian of our Redeemer. Thanks, St. Joe! Here's the word from the Archdiocese of Chicago, forwarded by Allison:

Since the Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19th, falls on a Friday this year, the question arises regarding the requirement of  abstinence from meat. Since St. Joseph's day holds the rank of a solemnity and the character of a solemnity is one of rejoicing, penitential practices like abstinence from meat are not required. People may choose voluntarily to abstain from meat on March 19, but it is not required. Hence, Catholics can participate in a St. Joseph's table without worrying about breaking the penitential  discipline of Lent.

See Canon 1251: "Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

Sharpen your steak knives, Catholic! And get out the A-1!