Lent is a period of preparation lasting approximately six weeks and, ultimately, ending with the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days to symbolize the time Jesus spent in the desert fasting and enduring temptation by the Devil before he started his public ministry. It traditionally starts on Ash Wednesday and finishes on Easter Sunday.
There are actually 46 calendar days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, but there are 6 Sundays during Lent, which are are not counted towards the “40 days”.
During Lent, we prepare by prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial with many fasting or giving up certain luxuries as a form of penitence. Some abstain from eating meat for the season, except for fish on Fridays.
Within the season of Lent, we observe several important days:
- 1st Sunday in Lent: The disposition of ashes and Communion.
- 5th Sunday: Passion Sunday.
- 6th Sunday: Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week.
- Wednesday in Holy Week: Holy Wednesday.
- Thursday in Holy Week: Maundy Thursday and Communion.
- Friday in Holy Week: Good Friday.
- Saturday in Holy Week: The Great Vigil of Easter.
- Sunday in Holy Week: Easter and the end of Lent.