How can I get a special dispensation to eat meat on Ash Wednesday?

My daughter is getting married on Ash Wednesday 2010. How do I go about getting a special dispensation for eating meat for that day?

Even if your daughter isn’t Catholic herself – as I assume she is not if she is marrying on Ash Wednesday – why on earth would she choose to marry on a day of serious religious significance to her mother? Not only are you, as a Catholic, required to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday but it is also a day of fasting. Unless a couple is eloping, or marrying in private with two witnesses and no post-wedding celebration, common courtesy and respect for family should indicate that a day of serious religious significance to one’s immediate family not be chosen as the wedding date.

If your daughter can still change her wedding date, you should prevail upon her to do so. As the date is seven months from now, there should at least be some possibility of doing so. If not, then explain to your daughter that her choice to get married on Ash Wednesday means that you will not be able to participate fully in her wedding reception – as you otherwise would have done so had she considered her wedding date more carefully. Any disappointment on her part that you will not be able to eat meat or to celebrate fully in her wedding day should be understood to be entirely the consequence of her own choice.

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