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Solemnities within the Lenten Season

Violet is the liturgical color for the Lenten Season while Rose Pink may be used on the fifth Sunday of Lent called Laetare Sunday. However, there are two instances when white is used instead of violet during Lent:

1. The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Mar 19)
2.The Solemnity of Annunciation (Mar 25)

In the Eucharistic celebration on March 19 and 25, the Creed is recited at Mass, and there are two scriptural readings and a Responsorial Psalm before the Gospel. Floral arrangements can also be done in the altar (GIRM 305). Furthermore, Canon 1247 states that "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass."
When these solemnities fall on a Friday (ie March 25 in 2011) which is a penitential day (Can 1250), the obligation to abstain from meat is lifted. Canon 1251 states that "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. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday."

It is good to note that although it is not obligatory to do fasting and abstinence on a Friday when a solemnity falls on it, anyone may do penitential acts, works of charity and exercises of piety even outside the prescribed time.

Since 2008, if St Joseph's Day falls during Holy Week, it is moved to closest possible day before 19 March, usually the Saturday before Holy Week. This change was announced by the Congregation for Divine Worship in Notitiae March–April, 2006 (475-476, page 96) in order to avoid occurrences of the feasts of St. Joseph and the Annunciation both being moved to just after the Easter octave.

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