how long is lent

[citation needed].

[36] Ethiopian devotees may also abstain from sexual activity and the consumption of alcohol.[36]. Dutch has three options, one of which means fasting period, and the other two referring to the 40-day period indicated in the Latin term: vastentijd, veertigdagentijd and quadragesima, respectively. Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, 'Fortieth') is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. This form of public penance began to die out in the 9th century, and it became customary for all the faithful to be reminded of the need for penitence by receiving an imposition of ashes on their foreheads on the first day of Lent—hence the name Ash Wednesday. The period of Lent observed in the Eastern Catholic Churches corresponds to that in other churches of Eastern Christianity that have similar traditions.

Now, it doesn’t take Carol Vorderman (or Rachel Riley, for more modern audiences) to work out that there are 46 days between those dates, not including Easter Sunday. Lent & Beyond: Dr. Peter Toon – From Septuagesima to Quadragesima (web site gone, no alternate source found, originally cited 27 August 2010), Roman Missal, Thursday of the Lord's Supper, 7, The Church of England rubric states: "The colour for a particular service should reflect the predominant theme. [36][37][38] Fasting involves abstention from animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs), and refraining from eating or drinking before 3:00 pm. Roman Catholic priests wear white vestments on solemnity days for St. Joseph (March 19) and the Annunciation (March 25), although these solemnities get transferred to another date if they fall on a Sunday in Lent or at any time during Holy Week. For Western churches, the 40-day period of Lent ends on Holy Saturday (20 April), the day before Easter. Refrain from eating meat (bloody foods) on all Fridays in Lent, substituting fish for example.

Later, the period of fasting from Good Friday until Easter Day was extended to six days, to correspond with the six weeks of training necessary to give the final instruction to those converts who were to be baptized. Christ's original disciples, who were Jewish, grew up with the idea that the Sabbath—the day of worship and of rest—was Saturday, the seventh day of the week since the account of creation in Genesis says that God rested on the seventh day. One meal a day was allowed in the evening, and meat, fish, eggs, and butter were forbidden. 2 by Giraldus Cambrensis", "Catholics United for the Faith – Lent – Discipline and History – Teaching the Catholic Faith", "Thou Shalt Eat Corned Beef on Friday: Who Sets the Rules on Lent? The Sundays in Lent carry Latin names in German, The fourth Sunday in Lent, which marks the halfway point between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, is referred to as, The fifth Sunday in Lent, also known in some denominations as, The sixth Sunday in Lent, commonly called, This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 16:41. Since, presumably, the Apostles fasted as they mourned the death of Jesus, Christians have traditionally fasted during the annual commemoration of his burial. Those using the Alexandrian Rite, i.e., the Coptic Orthodox, Coptic Catholic, Ethiopian Orthodox, Ethiopian Catholic, Eritrean Orthodox, and Eritrean Catholic Churches, observe eight weeks of Lent. [64][8][65][66] A Handbook for the Discipline of Lent delineates the following Lutheran fasting guidelines:[12], However, Martin Luther criticized the Roman Catholic church of his era for creating new and stricter fasts over the preceding centuries. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. Why Should We? In many places, the observant abstained from food for a whole day until the evening, and at sunset, Western Christians traditionally broke the Lenten fast, which was often known as the Black Fast. [13] It further states that "the major Fast Days of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as the American Prayer-Book indicates, are stricter in obligation, though not in observance, than the other Fast Days, and therefore should not be neglected except in cases of serious illness or other necessity of an absolute character."[83].

[citation needed], In many liturgical Christian denominations, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday form the Easter Triduum. [24][25], In the Ambrosian Rite, Lent begins on the Sunday that follows what is celebrated as Ash Wednesday in the rest of the Latin Catholic Church, and ends as in the Roman Rite, thus being of 40 days, counting the Sundays but not Holy Thursday. Among Filipino Catholics, the recitation of the epic of Christ' passion, called Pasiong Mahal, is also observed. [55], In 1966, Pope Paul VI reduced the obligatory fasting days to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstinence days to Fridays and Ash Wednesday, and allowed episcopal conferences to replace abstinence and fasting with other forms of penitence such charity and piety, as declared and established in his apostolic constitution Paenitemini. In certain pious Christian states, in which liturgical forms of Christianity predominate, religious objects were traditionally veiled for the entire 40 days of Lent. [86][87] Even some atheists find value in the Christian tradition and observe Lent. [45] Some mass compositions were written especially for Lent, such as Michael Haydn's Missa tempore Quadragesimae, without Gloria, in D minor, and for modest forces, only choir and organ. ", "When does Lent really end? This event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. The Eastern Orthodox Church maintains the traditional Church's teaching on fasting.

In modern Greek the term is Σαρακοστή (Sarakostí), derived from the earlier Τεσσαρακοστή (Tessarakostí), meaning "fortieth". Jesus, as part of his spiritual preparation, went into the wilderness and fasted 40 days and 40 nights, according to the Gospels. [81] In Hong Kong, where Ash Wednesday often coincides with Chinese New Year celebrations, a dispensation is then granted from the laws of fast and abstinence, and the faithful are exhorted to use some other form of penance. In some Anglican churches, a type of unbleached linen or muslin known as "Lenten array" is worn during the first three weeks of Lent, crimson is worn during Passiontide, and on holy days, the colour proper to the day is worn. [43], In addition, some believers add a regular spiritual discipline, to bring them closer to God, such as reading a Lenten daily devotional. Consider not eating before receiving Communion in Lent. Lent is a 40-day Christian fasting period leading up to Easter.

In response, the Lenten fast and practices of self-renunciation were required annually of all Christians, both to show solidarity with the catechumens, and for their own spiritual benefit. If no violet fabrics could be afforded at all, then the religious statues and images were turned around facing the wall.

During the six weeks of self-examination and reflection, Christians who observe Lent typically make a commitment to fast, or to give up something—a habit, like smoking, watching TV, swearing, or a food or drink, such as sweets, chocolate, or coffee. The special Ash Wednesday fast is transferred to the first Friday of the Ambrosian Lent. So how are the 40 days of Lent calculated? On the fourth Sunday in Lent, rose-coloured (pink) vestments may be worn in lieu of violet.

Thus, it is known in Eastern Orthodox circles as the season of "Bright Sadness". Thus it is called "fasting period" in Czech (postní doba), German (Fastenzeit), and Norwegian (fasten/fastetid), and it is called "great fast" in Arabic (الصوم الكبير – al-ṣawm al-kabīr, literally, "the Great Fast"), Polish (wielki post), Russian (великий пост – vieliki post), and Ukrainian (великий піст – velyky pist). It is custom for some churches to hold sunrise services which include open air celebrations in some places. In 1970, the name "Passiontide" was dropped, although the last two weeks are markedly different from the rest of the season, and continuance of the tradition of veiling images is left to the discretion of a country's conference of bishops or even to individual parishes as pastors may wish. It is the traditional belief that Jesus lay for 40 hours in the tomb.
"[2] In the Anglican Churches, the Traditional Saint Augustine's Prayer Book: A Book of Devotion for Members of the Anglican Communion, a companion to the Book of Common Prayer, states that fasting is "usually meaning not more than a light breakfast, one full meal, and one half meal, on the forty days of Lent".

As a result, the veils were removed at the singing of the Gloria in Excelsis Deo during the Easter Vigil. [31] This definition is still that of the Anglican Church,[32] Lutheran Church,[33] Methodist Church,[18] and Western Rite Orthodox Church.
As a sign of their penitence, they wore sackcloth and were sprinkled with ashes. What is Ash Wednesday?

[74], Good Friday, which is towards the end of the Lenten season, is traditionally an important day of communal fasting for adherents of the Reformed faith.