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On Good Friday, the dinner plan at my house is always the same: soup and grilled cheese. It would not be pretty if I served something else on that day. And it's as simple as simple can be -- perfect for a day of fasting. If I have any tomatoes or onions in the house, I add something a little extra to the sandwich (because vegetables are healthy). But I have to serve the sandwich.

This year, we're in uncharted Good Friday territory. Many people are unable to go to the grocery store because of fear of the very contagious coronavirus. Others can get to the store (or have groceries delivered) but because of food shortages or delivery issues, can't get certain kinds of food. Because of this, some archdioceses and dioceses have suspended the penitental practice of abstaining from meat this year.

The Archdioceses of Boston and Dubuque, as well as the Dioceses of Brooklyn, Houma-Thibodeaux, Metuchen, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, have all issued letters stating that Catholics who may find it difficult to obtain other foods are permitted to eat meat on the last two Fridays of Lent. (Catholic News Agency, March 27, 2020)

But before you serve up bacon cheeseburgers tonight, check your diocesan website to find out the local policy. In some areas, such as the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the exception is for healthcare workers only. Regardless of whether your archbishop or bishop has suspended the meatless Friday rules, those "who are still able to abstain from meat at this time are encouraged to continue this practice," CNA noted.

If your archdiocese or diocese has suspended the rules of abstinence because of the coronavirus, what's on the menu at your house tonight?

Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS