The 40 (+4) Days of Lent

Here’s a calendar I created to help explain how to count the 40 (+4) days of Lent.

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Ordinary Time–lasts until midnight
*Ash Wednesday
[Fast & Abstinence]
Thursday After Ash Wednesday
Friday After Ash Wednesday [Abstinence]
Saturday After Ash Wednesday
**Sunday of the 1st Week of Lent
2
3
4
5
6
[Abstinence]
7
**Sunday of the 2nd Week of Lent
9
10
11
12
13
[Abstinence]
14
**Sunday of the 3rd Week of Lent
16
17
18
19
20
[Abstinence]
21
**Sunday of the 4th Week of Lent
23
24
25
26
27
[Abstinence]
28
**Sunday of the 5th Week of Lent
30
31
32
33
34
[Abstinence]
35
** Palm Sunday
37
Monday of Holy Week
38
Tuesday of Holy Week
39
Wednesday of Holy Week
***40
Good Friday
[Fast and Abstinence]
Easter Vigil
Holy Thursday
Easter Sunday


*The 40 is not an exact number. Some people call the first 4 days of Lent “Lent’s Doorstep.” Counting this way, they are a part of Lent, but are not counted when tallying 40 days. Lenten penance is still observed during these days. Counting this way, day #1 is Sunday of the 1st Week of Lent. Other people get to the number 40 by skipping the Sundays, but including Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

** Sundays are still considered part of Lent (the priest still wears purple), but since each person’s penance is self-directed (and we don’t usually fast on Sundays), many peopel give themselves a break from their penances on Sundays.

*** Lent ends when the Mass of the Last Supper begins on Holy Thursday night.

Later, I’m going to post something about the details of penance.

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