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Lenten Regulation on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, March 19

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March 18, 2021

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, each year on March 19. This year, the Solemnity of St. Joseph falls on a Friday in Lent. According to Canon law, “Abstinence from eating meat or some other food according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops is to be observed on every Friday of the year unless a Friday occurs on a day listed as a solemnity. Abstinence and fasting, however, are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.”

But in addition to Canon law, the prescripts of the U.S.C.C.B. also come into play regarding abstaining from meat on Fridays. According to Fr. Jason Williams, Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, “It is the prescripts of the U.S.C.C.B. which reduce the abstinence from meat to being required only on Fridays in Lent, although we are supposed to sacrifice something – if not meat – every Friday.”

All that being said, abstaining from meat on Fridays in Lent is part of our Lenten penance, but this year, since March 19, celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph, falls on a Friday in Lent, it is permissible to eat meat that day.

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