If you're not Catholic you may not be keeping up with the dietary restrictions. Most of the year, not eating meat on Friday is optional -- but not during Lent. However, in years where Saint Patrick's Day falls on a Friday, there's an exception made for corned beef.
Father Sean Horrigan, pastor at Houston's Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, says the corned beef comes with a price.
"So the indult is granted but also Catholics who on Saint Patrick's Day do partake of corned beef or meat are asked to do an extra act of charity or penance in exchange for eating meat. So, perhaps they'll say an extra prayer or two or do good work for those in need and that will help keep holy the day."
Father Horrigan says he's not sure if the Irish are allowing corned beef this Friday.
"It seems to be an American practice; I'm not sure what's going on in Ireland but I do know over a hundred dioceses in the United States have granted such permission, so it's pretty widespread."
Father Horrigan says Catholics can eat corned beef Friday if they agree to do some penance afterward -- perhaps volunteer to help the needy.