End of Lent?

When does Lent officially end? I thought it was always Holy Saturday but I have heard some say it is Holy Thursday?

It seems that Lent ends when the Triduum starts, Holy Thursday, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. But Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are still days of a penitential nature.

Lent ends at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper since we are entering the liturgical season of the Triduum. But as previously stated, there is still a penitential character until the Easter Vigil. Actually, although it is not under obligation, we should extend our Good Friday fast into Holy Saturday as is attested to in ancient Church documents and even in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers Apologist

Re: When does Lent end?

Lent ends when the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday begins because the Mass of the Lord’s Supper ushers in the Holy Triduum, a liturgical season in its own right and the shortest of the liturgical year. For more information, click here.

As for the Lenten penances, those are voluntary practices that people take up as personal devotions in addition to the penances required by the Church on the Fridays of Lent. Voluntary penances can be voluntarily set aside, so if your students wish to take a break from them on Sundays in honor of the Lord’s Day, that is perfectly fine. That said, the Sundays of Lent are indeed a part of the Lenten season.

The click here link doesn’t work.

So if the Lenten Season is over on Holy Thursday, then my Lenten observance of no meat on Fridays is fulfilled and I can have meat on Good Friday? Good Friday has always been a strict day of abstinence, especially from meat. Does the Holy Triduum carry this same observance?

Good Friday is always a day of obligatory fast and abstinence as it is a day of penance in honour of our Lords crucifiction and death. Even though it is outside of Lent. Good Friday is the most penitential day of the year. A day of obligatory abstinence doesn’t have to be in Lent.

May I suggest you contact Michelle Arnold direct, or an Apologist as the link doesn’t seem to work or use the search button at the top of the page.God bless

Good Friday is the Friday within Holy Week,it is the secin day of the Tridium, and is traditionally a time of fasting and penance, commemorating the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and death. For Christians, Good Friday commemorates not just a historical event, but the sacrificial death of Christ, which with the resurrection, comprises the heart of the Christian faith. The Catholic Catechism states this succinctly:

Good Friday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. Catholics who are over the age of 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Good Friday.

This is what Paschale Solemnitatis, the Circular Letter on Lent and Triduum, states about the question raised by the OP:

  1. During Holy Week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem.

The lenten season lasts until the Thursday of this week. The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, is continued through Good Friday with the celebration of the passion of the Lord and Holy Saturday, to reach its summit in the Easter Vigil, and concludes with Vespers of Easter Sunday.

I hope this helps.

Assuming Lent ends on Holy Thursday, then I’m having trouble with the math. If you count from February 17th (Ash Wednesday), exclude Sundays (which are NOT part of Lent), then Holy Thursday is the 38th day. The 40th day would be Holy Saturday. I rather like the fact that Lent ends on Holy Thursday, but am nonplussed that the days do not add up to 40.

Can anyone clear this up?

Yes, include the Sundays. 40 is the mystical number that means “a lot”.

Don’t be nonplussed. Your math is correct. Lent is NOT exactly 40 days. It is just *approximately *40 days.

If you are referring to including the Sundays in the 40 days of Lent, then if you count from Ash Wednesday and include Sundays, then the 40th day of Lent would’ve been March 28th, Palm Sunday. That doesn’t seem to fit.

If you are referring to observing ones own personal sacrifice or deeds of Lent on Sundays, that is another matter, a personal choice. According to the church, Sundays are always days of celebration, and thus are not counted in the 40 days of Lent.

40 is just the mystical number that means “a lot”.

I agree that Lent ends at the beginning of Holy Thursday’s Mass. Does Easter begin on the afternoon of Easter Sunday? or on Monday?

Or… does Easter Season overlap Triduum?

As to the 40 days of Lent. Traditionally the 40 days were the days of preparation for Easter festivities. Triduum is a new season created after VII that took a couple days from Lent and (possibly) a day from Easter.

So the 40 days of preparation are: Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (w/o Sundays), traditionally called Lent in the English speaking countries.

If you are of the Eastern Church, I believe you count the Sundays and end on Passion Sunday so your preparatory season (Lent is an English word) is from Clean Monday (before Ash Wednesday) to Passion Sunday. They do not have a Triduum Season but a season call Holy Week. (Triduum is a latin word and they don’t use latin words :slight_smile: )

“The Triduum ends after Evening Prayer II on Sunday evening and the Easter Season begins.” Canadian ORDO

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