Who Celebrates Lent
Both Catholics and Protestants celebrate Lent Lent is more popular among Catholic believers, but the tradition is growing among evangelicals. According to a LifeWay Christian Research study:
- Three-quarters of Americans say they dont typically observe Lent, according to a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.”
- “Catholics remain most likely to observe Lent, according to LifeWays survey. Protestants and those with evangelical beliefs are less likely.”
- “Forty-three percent of those who attend church at least once a month observe Lent. That includes 82 percent of Catholics who regularly attend service as well as 30 percent of Protestants.
Eastern Orthodox Christians also celebrate Lent but on a slightly different schedule. The BBC states,
Both the eastern and western churches observe Lent but they count the 40 days differently. The western church excludes Sundays whereas the eastern church includes them. The churches also start Lent on different days. Western churches start Lent on the 7th Wednesday before Easter Day . Eastern churches start Lent on the Monday of the 7th week before Easter and end it on the Friday 9 days before Easter. Eastern churches call this period the ‘Great Lent’.
When Is Lent 2022
Each year, the Lenten season is determined by the liturgical observance of Easter Sunday, which is a moving Christian holiday. The date can’t be fixed, since Easter always occurs on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after the spring equinox.
From there, Western and Eastern churches differ a bit. In Western Christian churches, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday . Eastern churches begin Lent on the Monday of the 7th week before Easter and end on the Friday nine days preceding Easter.
Eating Creatively While Abstaining From Meat
During a past Lenten season, Ave Maria Press reached out to the Catholic community and staff in search of soup recipes that could be used during the season of Lent. The campaign was called 40 Days of Soup and it is still available with all 40+ recipes and Lenten reflections.
You can find links to all forty soup recipes here at the Ave Maria Press website: www.avemariapress.com/40daysofsoup/
Also Check: What’s The Benefits Of Fasting
If Youre Not Sure What This Pre
With so many fun Easter traditionslike decorating Easter eggs, munching on jelly beans from your Easter basket, and gathering with family on the big dayits easy to see why Easter is such a popular holiday. But its also an incredibly important time for Christians, as are the holy days leading up to it. Holy Week, which is the week before Easter, starts with Palm Sunday and also includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. But before all that is the period known as Lent. What is Lent, exactly? At its core, its a solemn season focused on faith and sacrifice, but theres so much more to know about its history, symbolism, and rules.
While traditions vary depending on different branches of Christianity, Lent is observed by Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant believers. Even within those larger groupings, theres a lot of wiggle room. After all, there are more than 15 different denominations just in Protestantism! But regardless of the specifics, all Christians share the same basic beliefs surrounding the life and teachings of Jesus, during Lent and beyond.
What Dates Are Lent
This year, the season of Lent starts on March 2, 2022, and ends on April 16, 2022. Did you know that the dates of the Lenten season are always based on Easter? To calculate the dates of Easter, you must refer to what the Council of Nicaea decided in 325. Easter is on the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the spring equinox. Also, take note that Easter always falls between the months of March and April.
Also Check: How Many Hours Is Considered Fasting
How Is Lent Observed Today
Today, Christians around the world still take the 40 days preceding Easter to fast and prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. However, how people fast often differs based on what branch of Christianity they follow. Eastern Orthodox Christians tend to be stricter with their practices, as they continue to avoid wine, oil, and dairy products during the entire Lenten period . For Western Christians, only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are full fast days, although some give up meat every Friday.
Besides fasting, some Christians give up luxuries or perform an act of good each day during Lent. Some things they may avoid include:
- Animal products
Other Types Of Fasting
Lent does not always have to have a religious background. Some people also fast for health reasons, for example to lose weight or detoxify. Therapeutic fasting, for example, has become a popular method of detoxifying the body.
Whether you fast, under what conditions and for what reason, is your own decision. Basically, fasting is not harmful to the body, but can even be very beneficial. Find out beforehand which criteria you need to observe. Then not much can go wrong. We wish you a lot of fun and a happy fasting season!
Recommended Reading: Fasting App With Calorie Counter
So Why Can You Eat Fish During Lent Why Isnt Fish Considered Meat
Aside from Can You Eat Chicken During Lent? and Can You Eat Eggs for Lent? one of the most common questions many people have about the Catholic Lent fasting rules is: Why Can You Eat Fish During Lent?
After all, fish is a meat. So why isnt fish considered a meat during Lent?
Well, turns out theres no shortage of theories on the matter.
For example, some have suggested that its because fish are cold-blooded . Others have suggested that its due to the fact that fish used to be common, while steaks were rare. Others believe it rule was inventedat least in partto help the fish economy in the 16th century.
Or perhaps it was a combination of each of these factors and more.
As I shared in my other post, Where is Lent in the Bible? the Catholic Lent rules and traditions were not handed down to us in final written form. Instead, theyve gradually evolved over time to meet the needs and preferences of the people at the time.
We know 1 Corinthians 15:39 tells us, Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. But it doesnt tell us why or why.
According to this article on MentalFloss, That distinction was possibly taken from Judaisms own dietary restrictions, which separates fleishig from pareve . Neither the Torah, Talmud, or New Testament clearly explains the rationale behind the divide.
And we also have these words from the famous 13th century theologian and philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas:
When Does Lent Start In 2022
This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 17, 2022. For Western churches, that means Lent will begin on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 with Ash Wednesday. On that day, priests gather ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday and rub them on congregants’ foreheads while citing Genesis 3:19: “…For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
How To Fast: A Guide For Fasting In The 40 Days Of Lent
For Protestants: Amid the many Protestant churches, you will find a mixture of recommendations concerning the Lenten fast. This is an outcome of the Reformation, as founders such as Martin Luther and John Calvin desired new followers to center their Christian lives on salvation by God’s grace rather than traditional spiritual disciplines.
Today, most Protestant churches view fasting as an individual decision for members who wish to strengthen their relationship with God. Additionally, many churches do support members to withdraw indulgences such as favorite foods, social media, and watching TV during Lent.
For Catholics: The custom of fasting during Lent has long been embraced by the Roman Catholic Church. The rules are very distinct and include fasting on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent. However, the fasting rules do not apply to young children, the elderly, or anyone whose well-being may be endangered by the abrupt variation in diet.
The modern dictates for fasting and abstinence are found in the Code of Canon Law for the Roman Catholic Church. To a confined extent, they can be adjusted by the conference of bishops for each country.
For Orthodox: Some of the most stringent dictates for fasting are observed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. During the Lenten season, there are a number of days when members are encouraged to rigorously restrain their diets or abstain from eating altogether:
Dont Forget Your Catholic Lent Fasting Rules Cheat Sheet
I know, that was a lot to remember!
Thankfully, this What Can You Eat During Lent cheat sheet makes remembering the basics easy and convenient.
And Id be happy to email it to you.
Simply enter your name and email in the boxes below, and Ill send it right over, along with some other resources I know youll find really helpful this year.
Recommended Reading: How To Do 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
Do We Fast Or Abstain On Sundays During Lent
No, because every Sunday is a little Resurrection since Jesus rose on the first day of the Week. However, this does not necessarily mean we get to indulge in our additional penitential practices on Sundays. A lot of people choose something to give up on their own during Lent. These practices are disciplinary and often more effective if they are continuous, including Sundays. These practices are not regulated by the Church, though, and left to an individual’s conscience.
When Is Lent In 2022
Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 2 this year. On that day, you will notice many people walking around with ashes in the shape of a cross on their foreheads that mark symbolizes death and repentance. Many churches hold an Ash Wednesday service, during which the priest or pastor will dip a finger into ashes and mark a cross on each congregants forehead, saying, Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. A second admonition offers a reminder to stay on the right path: Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
Read Also: Will Intermittent Fasting Burn Belly Fat
What Are The Rules For Fasting On Ash Wednesday And Good Friday
Paenitemini, a 1966 apostolic constitution by Pope Paul VI that changed the strictly regulated Catholic fasting requirements, originally set the age of fasting to begin at the 21st year. However, in 1984, this rule was amended to read, “… the age of fasting is from the completion of the eighteenth year to the beginning of the sixtieth in accord with canon 97.” According to Canon 97, that a “person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority.”
Therefore, Latin rite Catholics who have reached the age of 18 up to the beginning of their 60th year are bound by law to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion.
Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday means you are to only have one full, meatless meal. Paenitemini teaches, “The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing as far as quantity and quality are concerned approved local custom.” Liquids are permitted at any time, but any other solid food should not be consumed between meals.
Those who are excused from the fast and abstinence that are within the age limit of 18 to 59, include the physically or mentally ill, including those who suffer from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. This also excludes nursing or pregnant women. Common sense is key when fasting for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday those who are ill should not further harm their health by fasting.
What Is The Meaning Of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, which is a liturgical season observed by Catholics and consists of forty days of fasting, prayer, and penitence.The season comes to a close at sundown on Holy Thursday.The season of Lent is characterized by the use of the color violet in liturgical observances.The Origins of the Season of Lent The practice of fasting during the forty days leading up to Easter is known as Lent.
Recommended Reading: How Fast Do You Lose Weight When Intermittent Fasting
I Think I Got It But Give Me An Example
Heres the simple rundown:
No meat on Fridays in Lent . Simple.
In addition, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, eat no meat, no snacks, and small meals only .
If this is all new to you, or if youre taking it seriously for the first time, thats fantastic. Here are a few simple menu items that most Catholics lean on to get through the Lenten season:
Breakfast: Hard boiled egg and toast without butter or jam or oatmeal without sugar or toppings
Lunch: Rice, beans, and salsa or tuna fish salad or sandwich
Dinner: Tomato, lentil, or vegetable soup or grilled cheese sandwiches
First we fast, then we feast! After the 40 days of Lent, we swap fasting for feasting as we celebrate Jesus resurrection at Easter. Keep the end in mind as you fast throughout Lent at Easter, enter into the feast as much as you entered into the 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?
You May Like: Can I Have Coffee When Fasting
What Are Catholic Fasting And Abstinence
When we talk about Catholic fasting and abstinence, it helps to know what were talking about. So, lets start with a few definitions before we dive into the official Catholic Lent fasting rules:
Catholic Fasting refers to the practice to eating noticeably less.
Catholic Abstinence refers to the practice of choosing not to eat meat, or any products that contain pieces of meat.
*Note: Catholics ONLY practice fasting for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence for Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays during Lent. On every other day of the week, Catholics eat like normal .
So heres what that looks like
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.
You May Like: Free Fasting App For Weight Loss
How Long Is Lent
Lent is 40 days long, not including Sundays . The fact that it’s 40 days has significance. According to Father William Saunders of the Catholic Education Resource Center, “the number 40 has always had special spiritual significance regarding preparation … most importantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert before He began His public ministry .”
Lent In Other Religions
But fasting is not only practiced in Christianity in many other religions, too, Lent is considered an integral part of faith. It is supposed to bring people to reflection and enlightenment. In Judaism, for example, people celebrate Yom Kippur. The Feast of Atonement is the most important holiday in Judaism, on which eating and drinking are forbidden.
In Islam, devout Muslims fast for 30 days during Ramadan. Food is only allowed after sunset and ends with the festive breaking of the fast. In Buddhism Meditations and fasting periods lead to enlightenment and also in Hinduism there are numerous fasting rules – just to name a few examples.
You May Like: How To Create An Intermittent Fasting Schedule
When Does Lent Start& end
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, which is a liturgical season observed by Catholics and consists of forty days of fasting, prayer, and penitence.The season comes to a close at sundown on Holy Thursday.The season of Lent is characterized by the use of the color violet in liturgical observances.On February 14, 2018, the season of Lent will begin.
The practice of fasting during the forty days leading up to Easter is known as Lent.
When Does Lent 2022 End
For Western churches, Lent ends on Saturday, April 16, 2022 this year with an evening Easter Vigil mass on Holy Saturday. However, the last week of Lent is celebrated a bit differently with Holy Week, kicking off with Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 10, 2022. Holy Week also includes Holy Wednesday , Maundy Thursday , and Good Friday . The final day of Holy Week, of course, is Easter, when believers acknowledge that Jesus rose from his tomb.
Don’t Miss: Can Fasting Raise Your Blood Sugar