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!

  • Frank

    "I like my steak rare, but not raw!" -Robert Duvall as Lt. Col Gilgore, Apocalypse Now

  • Anonymous

    LOL! The Archdiocese of Chicago contains a great number of Polish and Italian constituents – hence, lots of St. Joseph tables throughout the greater Chicagoland area!

  • Webster Bull

    @Anonymous, Very good point. Can't have all those steak houses and stockyards going out of business. The Church is very wise! :-)

  • cathyf

    Hey, every St. Joseph's table I've ever been to has been all about baked goods, so no meat problems there. But what I want to know is whether this means that I can have cookies and chocolate today? I gave up sweets for lent, but I take seriously the instruction of the Council of Nicea that we never fast on Sundays. If St. Joseph's Day is a Solemnity, seems to me that it's a day off from whatever you gave up for lent, too.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and we sang the Gloria at Mass today to. Enjoy!

  • Webster Bull

    @Cathyf, I'm too busy eating meat here to answer, sorry.

  • Frank

    Yum, a big Cheeseburger and a Cherry Coke.

  • Sarah Harkins

    great pic for the occasion! My priest said we should all eat bacon cheeseburgers today. Sounds good to me!

  • Allison

    @Sarah: Oh! I like your priest.I just carpooled our 10 year old home from school with two buddies – a Muslim child and a boy whose parents were raised Christian but he is not baptized. I bought them doughnuts from the Filipino bakery in town for the car ride home to celebrate the day. "Hey – I go first. It's my religion!" said my pushy child as I passed out the treats.Talk about a "defender of the faith. "

  • Maria

    16 Solemnities in the Catholic Church: – January: – 1, Octave of Christmas – SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – 6- EPIPHANY – March: – 19, JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY – 25, ANNUNCIATION – March to June: – EASTER – the Solemnity of Solemnities… see Moveable Feasts – ASCENSION Day – 40 days after Easter, Ascension of Jesus – PENTECOST – 50 days after Easter, Pentecost, the Holy Spirit – HOLY TRINITY: First Sunday after Pentecost, The Most Holy Trinity – CORPUS CHRISTI: Thursday after Holy Trinity, in USA celebrated the next Sunday, Eucharist – SACRED HEART: Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Margaret – Divine Mercy, Sister Saint Faustina – June: – 24, BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST – 29, PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES – August: – 15: ASSUMPTION OF MARY – November: – 1, ALL SAINTS – 2, ALL SOULS, between Feast and Solemnity – CHRIST THE KING, Last Sunday in Ordinary Time: – December: – 8, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – 25, CHRISTMASSolemnity(From Latin solet and annus — a yearly celebration). The word solemnity is here used to denote the amount of intrinsic or extrinsic pomp with which a feast is celebrated. Intrinsic solemnity arises from the fact that the feast is primarium for the entire Church or for a special place, because in it a saint was born, lived or died; or because his relics are honoured there. Extrinsic solemnity is added by feriatio, by the numbers of sacred ministers, decorations of the church or adjoining streets, the ringing of bells, the number of candles, costly vestments, etc. In the Roman Martyrology Easter Sunday is announced as the solemnity of solemnities; the first Sunday of October, as the solemnity of the Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The term solemnity is also used in contracts, especially matrimony, in votive Masses, in vows, and in ecclesiastical trials. New AdventAllison: Great post.I definitely need to get a job. I have WAY too much time on my hands. How is your job search going?

  • Allison

    @Maria: Thanks. As for the job situation, I am working toward earning my alternate-route teaching certificate. This involves tests, classes etc. So the goal would be a fulltime teaching job in the fall, God willing. In the meantime I teach parttime and write parttime/.And you?blessings

  • Maria

    Allison: That is wonderful. I am a sinlge,clinical social worker w/ nothing on the horizon. This has been the longest period of unemployment of my life. I keep praying though…

  • Anne

    Great post! It was my son's namesake feast day, so we enjoyed his favorite chicken wings in celebration! I love all of the cute comments about and Maria-thanks for the info on Solemnities- I learned a lot! My prayers for both you and Allison in the job search!

  • Anneg

    I really love the Church calendar and loved this post. It gives me a sense of order in the chaos. We eat fish all the time, so I decided that we would eat only veggies on Fridays. This Friday for the Solemnity, also my father-in-law's birthday, we had a yummy grilled Asian salmon. I really enjoy the challenge to follow the Church feasts and saints' days. Thanks a lot, AnneG in NC

  • Dual Role Grandma

    I have to chuckle, because the traditional St. Joseph Table is usually meatless by custom, esp. in Sicily.