What is the exact timeline for the season of Lent? Several of my students claim that they can take Sundays off from their Lenten penances because Lent is longer than forty days when Sundays are included. I stated that I believe Lent ends on Palm Sunday and that Holy Week is a seperate time of increased preparation for the Holy Triduum and this way Lent would be forty days including Sundays.
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. See the links below for more information.