When does Lent officially end?


I have not posted on this site in awhile. I had been away from the Catholic Church for about fifteen years. This is my first time observing Lent in that time. I gave up alcohol for Lent. Not that I was ever a big drinker. I’d usually have a few beers on Friday nights or maybe a drink or two during the week. I did slip up once about a week into Lent. I drank a little wine before remembering that I had given up alcohol for Lent. I have a stupid question. Does lent officially end on Easter Sunday or on the next day? I was just wondering when was the right time to break my fast.


Neither. Lent ends when the Triduum begins, on Holy Thursday.

I was just wondering when was the right time to break my fast.

Hmm… are you thinking that you might go out and have a drink or two on Holy Thursday, after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper? Or on Good Friday? :hmmm:

I might suggest that, even though Lent ends, you might consider keeping your Lenten resolution through till Easter… or even beyond, if you feel it’s beneficial for you. :wink:


Lent does end with the beginning of the Triduum (starting on Holy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter Sunday), but with Holy Thursday and Good Friday being such solemn and reflective days (and Good Friday being a day of fasting), in my house, my husband and I usually just keep our Lenten promises until Saturday night (after Easter Vigil), if not until Easter Sunday morning.



Our parish collects our Lenten charitable donations during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, on Holy Thursday.

Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence, so, for most practical purposes, Lent ends on Holy Saturday.


The other posters gave great answers regarding the end of Lent [The Mass of the Lord’s Supper - Holy Thursday and Good Friday - fast and abstinence] … Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil

and not be Pharisaical … so please hold the lectures ;)… I get that Lent is not all about the rules but about growing in faith :thumbsup:

about that time you drank a little and whether you slipped up on your Lenten promise regarding giving up alcohol really depends on if the slip up occurred on a Sunday or not … because - Lent aside … every Sunday of the year is a celebration of Easter - a celebration of Resurrection and is not considered in your Lenten sacrifice …so if it was a Sunday - you should not feel any sense of failure …

And yes - I know - most kids were told by their parents that they had to give up for the 40 days of Lent and the Sundays included … and while it may be great for your spiritual development to include the Sundays that benefit is personal and not a function of the season of Lent …


Great answers already.
And like you, I gave up alcohol for Lent, and messed up once.
It did wake me up to the casual alcohol usage I had.
Now my husband (non practicing Catholic) is even drinking less.

I just wanted to add one thing…
Fifteen years away from the church and you are back?





And YES!!


Based on a few pieces of evidence, I’ve wondered if the definition of “Lent” that ends on the evening of Maundy Thursday is relatively recent. It seems to me that older definitions run longer.

And this sort of idea (not that the original poster necessarily would’ve considered it!) is why I (like you) would take care in answering the question. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d be happy to know that my sinking feeling is wrong, but I’ve feared that someone, acting in good faith and in all earnestness, has done (or advised, even encouraged, someone else to do) something like what you described because “Lent is then technically over!”

“Voluntary” penitential practices for Lent aren’t typically the gravest of issues, but if, for example, you the reader are abstaining from candy for Lent, resuming candy after Mass on Maundy Thursday because “Lent is technically over” can be missing the point a bit.

This time is when what you may call a broader “Lenten period” feels over for me. RRusso1982, are you planning on attending the Easter Vigil? (Especially if you haven’t been there at any time in those fifteen years, I encourage you to attend!)

When does Lent end?

I have one other question. I plan to go to confession this weekend. I haven’t gone in several months. I have a few things I plan to confess. There is one thing I am not sure I should confess. I missed mass one weekend about two months ago. I had a bad cold. Should I mention this just to be safe or is that a legitimate reason?


To miss mass is a grave sin, unless (of course) you’re TRULY too ill to attend (or had some other circumstance that TRULY rendered attending mass impossible), but only you would know if you were truly too ill to attend. If there’s any doubt in your mind that you might have had the wherewithal to attend and didn’t, then confess it. We are a church full of rules, but those rules aren’t just to be followed in a technical, legalistic way, but rather are to be followed both technically and in our hearts. If you were too ill to attend, you were too ill to attend. If you were too ill to attend, but were secretly relieved at “not having to go” (happened to me, once!), then perhaps you have something there to confess.

Just remember, OP, the rules are there for our spiritual benefit, not just to make us jump through hoops. It’s all about where your heart and mind are, IN ADDITION to following those rules.

*And the above may not make sense, so I apologize, in advance, if I just wrote something confusing. I am also ready to be corrected, if I stated anything in error, with regard to our Faith.


Also, this!^^^ It is BEAUTIFUL and deeply moving. I will never forget both my first Holy Thursday mass and my first Easter Vigil mass. Incredible. Deeply, deeply moving, both of them, in two very different ways. If you can make it to Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil, in addition to the Good Friday service, I highly recommend it, OP. They really encapsulate the whole point of Christianity, IMO, and drive home everything Jesus did for us and show us the exquisite plan of God coming to fruition, in our Catholic faith. Just beautiful. Finally attending Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday (optional, as either the Vigil or the Sunday mass meet the obligation), really changed my entire perspective on our Faith, permanently. Beautifully and permanently.

And another Welcome Home!


The concept of Easter Triduum as a season unto itself is new as of 1969 General Roman Calendar reform. The old calendar and the Eastern Churches don’t share the concept.

When does Lent end?

Old thread, yeah. But not that old.

Yes. I actually like the idea of the Easter Triduum as its own season.

That said, it has created some definite confusion as pertains to Lenten resolutions. I think it needs to be stated that the character of Triduum actually calls for greater prayer, fasting, and alms giving than does the rest of Lent. Those are days to expand on rather than end Lenten resolutions.


Thanks for the answer–I hadn’t asked earlier but had done a little looking, and I’d narrowed down the specific time to somewhere between the beginning of that period of reforms and the end.


One addition. If one is very contagious then out of charity for the elderly, etc. I have read by numerous priests and bishops that one shouldn’t attend Mass.


It depends on your Catholic sui iuris church. For the Byzantine Catholic Church the lat day of Lent is Friday before Lazarus Saturday. Then Holy Week begins on Monday. The period between is its own: Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.

For the Latin Catholic, General Norm 28 of the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar states that “Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive.”


It officials end in the day of Good friday.
Its is the day when your Lord jesus christ was cruxifiend at the cross for the sins of the human being in the hands of Romans by his fellow Jews.
It is called good friday bcos it is the day you and me died for our sins and resurrected as a holy being:):):):):):):slight_smile:



See Vico’s post, above. Lent ends on Holy Thursday, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which is the beginning of the Triduum.


First, welcome back to the Church and may you find the peace and direction that you seek.

The answer to your question depends on the context that you ask:

Liturgically, Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until Thursday but not including the Holy Thursday mass. Some people say it runs until Palm Sunday, not including the Palm Sunday service. This is because all masses in Holy Week from Palm Sunday until Easter Vigil have only one concluding hymn at Easter Vigil because they are all seen as part of one single liturgy.

As a Penintential season, Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Gloria is sung at the Easter Vigil, excluding the Sundays of Lent. This means that the penintential norms of the Church applies to all days of Lent except Sundays. Some people start the penintential season with the pre-Lent which starts nien weeks before Easter. Eastern Catholics start Lent on Clean Monday, the Monday before our Ash Wednesday.

As a personal observation period, it is as long or as severe as you choose to make it. You can abstain from certain things or to perform certain acts only for a few days of the week or you can prolong it for every day of the year. It really is up to you and it is between you & God. You can take the Church injunction on fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as a minimum but it really is a private agreement between you and God. Oh, and ignore yoru well-meaning Sola Canon Law Catholics who will quote you chapter & verse from Canon Law on what you need to do. Sincerity is the only valid basis of your agreemnt with God on your penance and why.


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