The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  


Lent, Day 10

Jeff Fowler shared this with the Chancel Choir in his newsletter about the history of Lent and the practice of Lent today.  Enjoy!

When Does Lent End?
We always talk about Lent being forty days, but it is unclear how that plays out on the calendar.  There is little agreement on the matter. Each Christian tradition seems to have its own way of figuring it.  In some cases the number 40 is considered an approximation. If you begin counting on Ash Wednesday and exclude Sundays, the fortieth day is the day before Easter. This is what the PCUSA practices according to their edict, Lenten Practices 101. If you do count Sundays, the last Sunday of Lent is Palm Sunday, in which case Holy Week is technically not part of Lent.  I seem to recall being taught this as a young Lutheran confirmand.  Since 1969, the Catholic Church has decided that Lent ends with but does not include the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday.  Lutherans now seem to follow this, which by my reckoning, makes it impossible to come up with the number 40.  In some traditions the count of days begins the Sunday after Ash Wednesday.  Some say you are not to fast on Sundays, while others claim the opposite.  One day of Lent is by definition, one day of fasting.  On this there is agreement.  It appears, however, that there is no definitive answer to the stated question.  Lent is a practice not found in scripture, so we’ll just have to abide by whatever they tell us.  Don’t lose any sleep over it.

If you'd like to read the article Jeff references, Lenten Practices 101, click here.

And in case you're wondering, at WPC (and for purposes of this blog) we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday and celebrate its end on Easter Sunday.  That will get you 40 days of Lent if you exclude Sundays.  (Every Sunday is a resurrection day.)


Posted by Laurie Weicher at 6:00 AM
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