Why Does Lent Last For 40 Days
For those who practice the Christian faith, Lent is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparing for Easter.
Lent lasts for 40 days until Easter, but this does not include Sundays.
The time reflects when Jesus fasted and suffered in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.
According to the Bible, Jesus was tempted by Satan during this time but he did not give in.
Christians participate in Lent in a bid to grow closer to God before Easter.
Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Day, takes place the day before Lent begins.
The day symbolises when Christians would eat up rich foods such as eggs and milk before fasting.
Why Is Lent Observed In Only Some Christian Churches
In the Protestant world, particularly among many evangelical denominations and independent churches, the Church Calendar is not observed. The seasons were omitted along with most of the sacraments and the use of liturgy in their approach to faith. These Christians do observe Christmas and Easter and some might even celebrate Pentecost.
Great Lent And Holy Week 2022
The Lenten fasting discipline commences after Forgiveness Vespers on March 6 and concludes with the breaking of the fast at Pascha on April 24. In general, the fasting rules during Great Lent and Holy Week are as follows:
WEEKDAYS are observed as Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, alcoholic beverages, and oil.
WEEKENDS are observed as Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit alcoholic beverages and olive and other vegetable oils.
In addition, two special feastdays that fall during this period Annunciation and Palm Sunday are kept as Fish, Wine, and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to alcoholic beverages and oil.
There are certain days of the Holy Week cycle that have special fasting rules.
- Great and Holy Thursday is observed as a Wine and Oil Day due to the commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist.
- Great and Holy Saturday is observed as a Strict Fast Day the only Saturday of the year kept as a strict fast however, wine is permitted.
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What Is Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. This is an important event that had been anticipated hundreds of years prior, with prophesies like, Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey, being written long before Jesus was born.
The significance of Palm in the name of this day comes from the palm branches that were placed on the road in anticipation of Jesus arrival.
What Time Can You Eat During Lent
On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics fast, meaning they eat less than usual. Most adults give up snacking and generally eat only one main meal and two smaller meals during the day. Also, on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays during Lent, adult Catholics over the age of 14 abstain from eating meat.
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How To Fast For Lent: Types Of Fasting
In the same way that God appointed times and seasons to fast, He also designated several types of fasts. Because of certain medical problems, and physical needs, there are different types of fasting. Not everyone can go on an extended 5-7 day fast in a similar way, not everyone can totally abstain from food and water. A person should exercise wisdom and consult their physician if they have any medical concerns before they fast, otherwise it could actually be harmful to your health. However, there are at least three types of individual fasts: absolute fast, solid food fast, and partial fast.
Weeks Of Preparation 2022
Four Sundays of preparation precede Great Lent. The Church eases us into the fasting discipline during these weeks of preparation as follows:
- February 13 is the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and the week that follows is fast-free. There is no Wednesday or Friday fast this week.
- February 20 is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the week that follows is a normal week. Wednesday and Friday of this week are fasting days.
- February 27 is Meatfare Sunday and on this day we say farewell to meat. During the week that follows we fast from meat only. All dairy, cheese, eggs, wine, and oil are permitted during this week, even on Wednesday and Friday.
- March 6 is Cheesefare Sunday and on this day we say farewell to cheese, dairy, eggs, wine, oil, etc. This begins the fast proper.
The Second Sunday In Lent
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities that may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Rules For Roman Catholics In The United States
The law of fasting refers to “those who have attained their majority,” which may differ from culture to culture and country to country. In the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has declared that “the age of fasting is from the completion of the eighteenth year to the beginning of the sixtieth.”
The USCCB also allows the substitution of some other form of penance for abstinence on all Fridays of the year, except for the Fridays of Lent. The rules for fasting and abstinence in the United States are:
- Every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and every Friday of Lent.
- Every person between the ages of 18 and 59 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting consists of one full meal per day, with two smaller meals that do not add up to a full meal, and no snacks.
- Every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat on all other Fridays of the year unless he or she substitutes some other form of penance for abstinence.
If you are outside the United States, check with the bishops’ conference for your country for specific fasting rules.
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Holy Week Is Part Of Lent
One answer that is commonly given to the question “When does Lent end?” is Palm Sunday . In most cases, this stems from a misunderstanding of Holy Week, which some Catholics incorrectly think is a separate liturgical season from Lent. As paragraph 28 of the General Norms shows, it is not.
Sometimes, it stems from a misunderstanding of how the 40 days of the Lenten fast are calculated. Holy Week, up until the Easter Triduum starts on the evening of Holy Thursday, is liturgically part of Lent. All of Holy Week, through Holy Saturday, is part of the Lenten fast.
Whats The Meaning Of Lent
As the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship states, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus passion and celebrating Jesus resurrection. Although a solemn time, it is also a hopeful, expectant time of prayer and fasting before acknowledging/celebrating Jesus death and then His subsequent defeat of the grave on Easter.
As Pope Francis has shared, this is a period of time where we can strive to abandon idolatry as well as the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship adds, The Lenten season is set aside for self-examination, spiritual renewal, and growth.
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Does Lent End On Easter Or Good Friday
Again, it depends on which denomination you ask, but traditionally, Lent ends on Holy Saturday. But depending if you start on Clean Monday, Ash Wednesday, or whether you do or dont count Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday, you may find yourself ending on Good Friday or Easter.
In reality, it doesnt truly matter who chooses to end on what day. We need to remember the core reasons why we celebrate Lent. Lent offers a time of reflection, where we can remember Jesus life on earth, his horrific death, and his glorious resurrection. I would advise the reader to follow their own church calendar . But should you feel a strong conviction to end on a particular day, plan accordingly.
Scrutinies: Examining Our Lives
The primary way that the Church assists the catechumens in this conversion process during Lent is through the celebration of the rites called Scrutinies. These ritual celebrations on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent are communal prayers celebrated around the elect to strengthen them to overcome the power of sin in their lives and to grow in virtue. To scrutinize something means to examine it closely. The community does not scrutinize the catechumens the catechumens scrutinize their own lives and allow God to scrutinize them and to heal them.
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When Does Lent 2022 End
Lent begins each year on Ash Wednesday the date of which varies each year because the date of Easter changes too.
The date of Easter changes because it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following or on the vernal equinox.
Lent lasts for 40 days until Maundy Thursday, which is the Thursday before Easter weekend.
In 2022 Maundy Thursday falls on Thursday, April 14 meaning that Lent concludes today
Easter lands on Sunday, April 17.
The actual length of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter is 46 days, but some Christians believe that Sundays are excluded from Lent as they are traditionally days of rest and feast.
Some Christians also consider Lent over either at Sundown on Holy Saturday or during Easter Sunday.
Bible Verses For Lent
- Philippians 3:10-11– “I want to know Christ, yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participate in his sufferings, becoming like him in death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
- Joel 2:12-14– “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate.
- Matthew 6:16-18– “when you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites…but when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
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Protestantism And Western Orthodoxy
In Protestant and Western Orthodox Churches that celebrate it, the season of Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday to the evening of Holy Saturday. This calculation makes Lent last 46 days if the 6 Sundays are included, but only 40 days if they are excluded. This definition is still that of the Moravian Church,Lutheran Church,Anglican Church,Methodist Church,Western Rite Orthodox Church,United Protestant Churches, and those of the Reformed Churches that observe Lent.
The End Of The Liturgical Season Of Lent
Liturgically, which means basically if you follow along in the Roman Catholic rulebook, Lent ends two days earlier on Holy Thursday. This has been the case since 1969 when “General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar” was released with a revised Roman calendar and revised Mass. Paragraph 28 states, “Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive.” In other words, Lent ends just before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, when the liturgical season of the Easter Triduum begins.
Until the revision of the calendar in 1969, the Lenten fast and the liturgical season of Lent were coextensive meaning both began on Ash Wednesday and ended on Holy Saturday.
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When Can You End Your Lenten Promise Catholic
The question When does Lent end? is asked by the vast majority of individuals. What they really want to know is, When does the fast for Lent end? The answer to that query is Holy Saturday, which is the day before Easter Sunday and also the 40th day of the fasting period that is observed throughout Lent.
Why Does Lent Fall On Different Dates Each Year
Lent is different each year because it depends on the date of Easter, which can occur anytime between March 22 and April 25. Which brings us to this question: Why is Easter on a different Sunday every year? Easter is always on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, or the first full moon after the spring equinox. This year, the spring equinox falls on Sunday, March 20, with the first full moon occurring on Saturday, April 16. Thats why Easter lands on April 17 this year.
Since the date of Easter varies every year, the religious observances of Holy Week do as well, including Ash Wednesday, which kicks off the Lenten season 46 days before Easter Sunday. An important note: These observances apply to the Western Christian traditions and are based on the Gregorian calendar, though the Eastern traditions use the Julian calendar and practice Great Lent, which starts on March 7 this year.
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Should You Observe Lent
Lent can be helpful for individuals but also for families. In the same way that Advent helps parents guide their children toward Christmas, Lent can provide a path of preparation for families to partake in together. Rather than focus on the excitement of the baskets and egg hunts, Lent can help keep your family focused on the real meaning of Easter and what Jesus sacrifice means for our salvation. So that on that joyous Easter Sunday, the celebration is all the more sweet and meaningful.
IBelieve.com writer Jennifer Kostic writes,
I dont know about you, but I often need refocusing. I have to purge distractions and force awareness of what is important. Life gets crazy. All of us have family responsibilities, work duties, and everyday life tasks that make the cross more distant than it should be. Putting the cross back into our line of vision grounds us in His love. Its not that those of us who serve Christ allow a gap between us and the cross on purpose, but life and all its obligations sometimes add a haze to what happened on Calvary. We become so wrapped up in the right now, that we need to be reminded of what made us whole and able to breathe the air of freedom in the first place. … For me, the point isnt really about what exactly I give up or what I choose to do differently. Its about forcing myself to make new habits that remind me of the true gospel story which brings forth the revelation of Christ in my life.
-Excerpted from Why I Was Wrong about Lent
What To Give Up For Lent
Lots of people give up sweet treats for Lent, like sugary drinks, chocolate or ice cream.
If Dry January didnt work for you, giving up alcohol could be an option, or you could use the period to give vegetarianism a go
It doesnt have to be food-based, either. Some people try to avoid gossiping, or bad posture. Making an effort to speak more kindly or just using that new office chair for a sustained period could create a habit that lasts a lifetime.
Others set themselves a challenge, blocking social media or a favourite streaming service.
It could be an idea to try something more positive for the Lenten season. Instead of banning items, why not practice self-care: writing in a diary every day, or remembering to drink enough water?
Whether youre religious or not, the forty-day period is a good time to set a new goal.
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The End Of The Lenten Fast
Lent has two starting days, Ash Wednesday and Clean Monday. Ash Wednesday is considered the start in the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches that observe Lent. Clean Monday marks the start for the Eastern Churches, both Catholic, and Orthodox. So, it stands to reason that Lent has two ending days.
When most people ask “When does Lent end?” what they mean is “When does the Lenten fast end?” The answer to that question is Holy Saturday , which is the 40th day of the 40-day Lenten fast. Technically, Holy Saturday is the 46th day of Ash Wednesday, including both Holy Saturday and Ash Wednesday, the six Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday are not calculated in the Lenten fast.
What Is Ash Wednesday About
Often called the Day of Ashes, Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christians heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession. This happens during a special Ash Wednesday service.
During Mass or worship service , the priest or pastor will usually share a sermon that is penitential and reflective in nature. The mood is solemn – many services will have long periods of silence and worshipers will often leave the service in silence.
Usually, there is a responsive passage of Scripture, usually centered around confession, read aloud about the leader and congregation. Attendees will experience communal confession, as well as moments where they are prompted to silently confess sins and pray.
After all of this, the congregation will be invited to receive the ashes on their foreheads. Usually, as the priest or pastor will dip his finger into the ashes, spread them in a cross pattern on the forehead, and say, From dust you came and from dust you will return. (excerpt written by Kelly Givens – What is Ash Wednesday and Why Do Christians Celebrate It?
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