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Yes, you can eat meat on Friday for the Annunciation


Belokoni Dmitri | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/24/22

The Lenten obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays is always lifted when the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25, falls on that day.

The Roman Catholic Church instructs the faithful to abstain from eating meat on each Friday of Lent. It is an ancient tradition that is connected to the reality that Jesus suffered and died on a Friday.

Giving up meat on Fridays is a way to remember Jesus’ Passion and to offer a small sacrifice for God. This makes each Friday during Lent a somber occasion, dedicated to prayer and fasting.

However, what happens when a liturgical celebration lands on a Friday during Lent?

According to the Code of Canon Law, “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” (Can. 1251).

The Feast of the Annunciation on March 25 is asolemnity, the highest order of liturgical feast, meaning that Catholics are to observe it similar to a Sunday. It is a day of celebration, meaning any type of fasting or abstinence from meat is temporarily lifted on that day.

Bishops don’t have to make any special proclamation when the Annunciation lands on a Friday, as it is already a written rule in the Code of Canon Law that the solemnity supersedes the obligation to abstain.

While you may be able to eat meat on Friday, make sure to observe the spirit of the law as well and celebrate the Annunciation. Go to Mass if you have the opportunity, or read the Bible passage that focuses on the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38).

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