Should I eat meat at a company dinner party on a Friday of Lent?


The company my wife works for is having a special dinner to honor those employees that have been working with the company for at least ten years. It will be a coat-and-tie affair at a super-nice place. Even though attendance is not mandatory, it has been strongtly suggested that all attend with their spouse or date. We have to choose between chicken or steak for the main entree. No other choices available. It will be next Friday so all is okay. But my question is this. If this dinner had fallen during a Friday of Lent, and since on all Fridays of Lent we are to abstain from meat, would it be okay for us to eat meat that day or just push it aside and let it go to waste? Or would it be better in that situation to just not attend?


Standard etiquette for any dinner party that you attend is not to inconvenience one’s hosts by mentioning personal dietary preferences. If you can anticipate that you’ll have to leave a significant portion of your meal on the plate, you can eat a snack before you leave for the party. (In cases where you don’t anticipate it, you can eat a snack when you get home.) At the event, you can eat what you can, push around the rest, and cover your decision not to eat part – or all, if necessary – of the meal by getting so involved in the conversation that you “forget” to finish your meal.

Recommended reading:

Miss Manners’ Basic Training: Eating by Judith Martin
Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin

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