What happens if we accidentally eat meat during Lent?

Today I was trying to observe the USCCB’s request of abstaining from meat on all Fridays to help fight against abortion. However, I totally forgot and started eating pizza rolls. :frowning:

I know it is not Lent yet, but it starts Wednesday.

What exactly would we do we if accidentally ate meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or a Lenten Friday?

Thank you.

Say “oops” and try to be more attentive in the future.

You might also consider some alternative penance for the day you slipped up.

Well, if you eat a lot yo’ll put on weight but, other than that, nothing. Mistakes happen. (I’m assuming it really was a mistake.)

It is very grave matter to do so. You should immediately take it to confession, telling the priest that you intended to give up meat, but just forgot. It is not a mortal sin, but the level of culpability could be increased if you weren’t really taking care to remember.

You can’t commit a mortal sin by accident. If he forgets it’s Ash Wednesday and eats a burger, he has committed no sin so there is nothing to confess.

Lightning bolt!

I didn’t say it was a mortal sin, I said it was grave matter. If you killed a person on accident, wouldn’t you feel more definitely assured of your state of grace if you took it to confession?

In these cases, it’s best to take it to confession even if it isn’t endangering to your soul. Besides, it helps you remember the next Friday. :wink:

If it’s not a mortal sin, confession is unnecessary. You may want to take a look at the concept of scrupulosity.

You seem to be determined to negate a kind suggestion on my part. I said nothing of it being “necessary,” or a mortal sin, or anything.

I am going to stop posting here, this conversation is fruitless.

Not if it were truly an accident. No sin-not even venial-is involved.

apologize for your weakness and try to keep it in front of your mind.

if you commit a mortal sin unintentionally, (thus making it not a mortal sin) you are still required to mention it in your next confession. you may receive the Blessed Sacrament, but you still should mention it. i have heard that eating meat on fridays or days of abstinence can be grave, (im not sure if it is true) however, *accidentally *forgetting to not eat meat on a friday is far from being a mortal sin, but you should strive to constantly remind yourself not to eat meat. i often struggle with this throughout the year as i try and abstain friday and wednesday but sometimes i forget. its what make us human.

This is true. If one sins, and it’s grave matter, but unintentional, then it’s a venial sin, not a mortal sin.

In this case, it’s not necessary to go to confession, but it’s not a suggestion without merit…!

If he forgets it’s Ash Wednesday and eats a burger, he has committed no sin so there is nothing to confess.

No: keeping abstinence on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Fridays in Lent is an obligation that binds gravely (see Paul VI’s Paenitemini). Therefore, if one should break a required fast or fail to abstain, but not do so on purpose, it would be a venial sin. It is not the case that it would not be a sin…!

Therefore, while it would not be necessary to confess it, nevertheless it might not be a bad idea.

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This is not necessarily true. If it’s a venial sin, the Church recommends that you confess it, but doesn’t require that you do so (cf CCC 1458; also, can. 988 §2).

However, there is something to be said for this practice: if you’re uncertain about what makes a sin ‘mortal’, then confessing all grave matter ensures that you don’t neglect to confess all you should. Therefore, while it’s not a ‘requirement’, per se, it’s not a bad idea.

I have run into this many times since I live in the US. The general atmosphere is so secular that is very hard for me to remember is lent and accidentally I’ve eaten meat on fridays during lent. When I asked my priest about it he said I should confess it. Ever since I’ve been confessing it when it happens.

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Put a reminder into your phone or tablet. Use technology to help you!


There is no such thing as ‘accidental’ sin. An act is sinful only if it is done with intent to disobey or defy.

Since when is an honest accident or mistake any kind of sin, venial OR mortal? :confused:

Unless making honest mistakes separates us from God, and I don’t know of any God who works like that. :takeoff:

Of course, we all probably still have it stuck in our mind from school, where we are taught that honest mistakes Will Be scolded, punished, and will go on Your Permanent Record. :tsktsk:

Our Real Teacher saved us from that kind of fear. :slight_smile:

Sorry I didn’t see this until after I posted:



Like I honestly forgot for a moment when I got some Swedish Fish from a friend an hour ago.

On a side note, I never ate breakfast today, so I jokingly called them my second small meal that can’t add up to a full meal