So tomorrow (Friday Dec. 12) is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, correct? I normally do not eat meat on Fridays, since the U.S. Catholic bishops have said that Friday is a day of penance. I was thinking I might give up desserts tomorrow instead of meat, but am I required to give up anything on a Feast Day? Or is it only on Solemnities that we don’t have to do penance?
Only solemnities supersede the penitential nature of Fridays. That being said, in the US you have the option of substituting meat abstinence with another penance such as giving up dessert.
It doesn’t have to be meat. Tomorrow is a Feast! Rejoice! Our Lady is the patroness of the Americas. Do something else as a penance.
In some places, including the local Latin diocese, it is celebrated as a solemnity.
My Byzantine priest made a point to dispense us from all abstinence, even though it falls on a Friday during St. Philip’s Fast. My husband, who follows the traditional fast, plans to live it up tomorrow.
Yes, only on solemnities may you omit Friday penance.
“1251 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.”
But, as has been pointed out, in America other penances may be substituted in place of abstinence on Fridays outside of Lent. So, you may do something else like pray an extra Rosary, or say the Stations of the Cross, or give something else up, like dessert etc.