Corned Beef vs Lent

Yesterday, I opted to continue my fast of no meat on Friday. But, I also felt bad for rejecting the traditional dish of Saint Patricks Day, corned beef and cabbage. Would it have mattered? I felt like I made the better choice.

I think you made the right choice. In our archdiocese, we had the dispensation to eat corned beef and cabbage, provided we take on another suitable act of penance on St. Patrick’s Day Friday. On my own, I would not have gone out of my way to eat corned beef and cabbage, but then my sister worked hard preparing a delicious meal of it, so charity demanded that I eat it (and I enjoyed it :thumbsup:). I made a trip downtown to our cathedral earlier in the day for Stations of the Cross, which seemed like a good substitute penance. Anyway, be at peace. I don’t think it would have mattered all that much either way, but it is good you care about these things.

In my case, I abstained from eating meat today.

Also skipped breakfast yesterday and today as a substitute penance.

We held the Fast too. Plus I cannot stand corned beef and cabbage. The cabbage isn’t so bad but when I was in the Marines corned beef was served too often in the mess hall. It was known as “the red death”. I swear you could patch a blown tire with it. Talk about tough! Haven’t eaten the stuff since 1966.

Besides, I’ m Cornish not Irish.

So we fasted and abstained. :slight_smile:

It does not matter. You made the best choice for YOU and someone else made the choice to eat the corned beef, if they were Irish or not. It’s all good. :irish2:

That depends on where you are and whether your bishop gave a dispensation from abstinence from meat.

So, if you were not dispensed then yes it would have mattered.

We were also dispensed but I chose to abstain as I don’t care for corn beef and cabbage. I understood our dispensation to be for any meat but I wasn’t certain so I just abstained. I love fish anyway so it is never a problem to “have” to eat fish for me. :smiley:

I have relatives who live in Wisconsin and nothing beats their fish frys on Fridays. Some churches do it during lent and many restaurants do it year round. Not very penitential though.

My husband is from Ireland. We were very happy to receive the dispensation from the Archbishop, although Corned Beef and Cabbage is an American-Irish dish. They don’t eat this in Ireland. But we enjoyed it. It’s a big feast in his culture. We were very grateful.

I don’t like corned beef & cabbage either. To be forced to eat it would be a great penance for me! I don’t eat meat on any Friday & like my eggs & fish, so I never have a problem.

I’m part Irish, but grew up in a northern New Jersey neighborhood in the 50’s when I was a kid,and every other family was Italian. Learned to love Italian food. Actually look forward to Fridays in Lent. Gives me a good excuse to lose myself in ravioli, fettucine, farfalle, and all the others. I save the proscuitto and cappicola till Saturday.:thumbsup::pizza::yyeess:

Yesterday, it was linguine with white clam sauce, great Italian bread, a salad, and a nice bottle of Chianti. Didn’t miss the corned beef at all.

If you’re happy with what you did, just go with it.


I don’t understand “forced.” Did any bishop say one HAD to eat corned beef? And I’m unaware of any dispensation that was ONLY for corned beef.

That was a joke.

Sorry it bothers you. If it helps any, remember that St. Patrick did not participate in any corned beef and cabbage tradition, which originated in the seventeenth century.

That is how I took it. I, while part Irish, really don’t like corned beef, but my wife loves it. If she would have made it last night, I would have ate it. It would have been a penance though. I do love a Reuben sandwich. Go figure.

Yesterday I was aware that it was St. Patrick’s Day and I had nothing special planned.

As the day wore on, I fixed some Maruchan Instant Lunch, which says it has chicken flavoring in it, but no chicken. I thought it over and thought since it is dried noodles without any pieces of chicken, it was OK to eat it.

Then I started to scruple over it. I realized that it was St. Patrick’s day and we were given a dispensation to have meat anyway.

In our Diocese we received only a “commutation,” which meant we were required to observe Lenten abstinence on another day if we chose not to on Friday.

If the bishop has declared it lawful, then you are free to eat meat that day. If you choose to continue your Lenten abstinence, no one should hold that against you (but be prepared for some good-natured joking if you’re with friends who are celebrating). However if your diocese did not receive any form of dispensation/indult/commutation, then it is a problem for those who choose to eat meat.

Personally, I observed my Lenten abstinence on Wednesday so I could willingly partake on Friday.

We are NOT REQUIRED to eat corned beef and cabbage, which I do not like in any case.

However, Fr. Richard Heilman said we should defer to our bishop and eat meat, so we went out and had a meat lovers omelet with a side order of bacon. And pick another day for a penitential sacrifice. To be determined.


Thank you for your support.

Found this:

Corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the Irish dish of bacon and cabbage.

Corned beef and cabbage might be Bostonian, rather than actually Irish.

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