Do Sundays “count” during Lent?

Bringing back this popular post of mine from Lent 2011, and updating a bit.


Do Sundays “count” during Lent?

This issue comes up every year.  Do you do your Lenten penances on Sunday?

I’ve heard varying opinions on this.  Sundays are not counted among the actual 40 days of Lent, so some say Lenten penances should not apply on Sundays.  Others think the whole season is penitential, and so therefore we should continue our disciplines.  I read once a commentator say that Jesus didn’t take a break during his 40 days of fasting in the desert. Katherine of Team Whitaker falls firmly in the “Sundays count” category.

Here’s a link to a Q&A on Lent from EWTN, and it includes an answer about Sundays.  Basically, there’s no official rule, so you are free to choose.

Here’s also another interesting article from a blogger with the Archdiocese of Washington who offers insight on both celebrating Sunday, and why fish doesn’t count as meat.

Count me in the “celebrate Sunday” camp.  At our house, we tend to mark Sundays as a day of Resurrection.  I might have a piece of chocolate (or not) on Sundays, but my husband, who goes meatless for Lent, usually doesn’t eat meat on Sundays during Lent. Since I’m giving up my Fitbit during Lent (and still sad), I put it away and I’ll bring it out on Easter.

That “Sundays don’t count” wouldn’t apply, obviously, if you were trying to break a bad habit, like smoking or swearing.  But if you’re giving up sugar in your coffee or tea, it seems appropriate in some ways to celebrate the mini-Easter that is every Sunday (yes, even a Sunday in Lent) by having it then.

We also celebrate feast days during Lent.  Just off the top of my head for this Lent:  St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), St. Joseph’s Day (March 19),  and the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25).   We especially celebrate St. Joseph’s day, as we have two in our house (and both granddads were Joseph), with homemade savoiardi and usually a special dinner.  To me they are not just a little “break” during Lent, but a way to really celebrate those important holidays in the liturgical year.

And I know we weren’t alone last March 13, right in the middle of Lent 2013, when we heard “Habemus Papam” and Pope Francis became our pope?  The Picciones had beef and red wine and chocolate that night, even if they weren’t Argentinian, and I hope you did too.

So what about you?  At your house , do Sundays “count” during Lent, or do you celebrate a little?   How is your Lent going after the first two days?

3 thoughts on “Do Sundays “count” during Lent?”

  1. Great post. I am still on the fence about Sundays in Lent (I deal with them differently every weekend), however this is a nice compendium of resources. Lent means I’m forcing myself to strap my Fitbit back on. Winter has made me sluggish… I still haven’t made all my Flex lights turn on this week 🙂

    1. I’m not sure asking questions about devices is in the spirit of “giving up my Fitbit for Lent” but I’m not going to be scrupulous, LOL. So let me ask: how do you like the Flex? We were going to get one for my husband, and neither he nor I could figure out the wristband–it took forever to get it on. Do you keep it on all the time, or have any trouble getting it on or off? I have a One.

      1. I am big on Amazon reviews, so I skimmed most of them on the Flex before I purchased it last August, and I did notice people mentioned trouble with the band. What I found when I initially put it on was that I was doing it wrong (and now I can’t even remember how), but ever since it hasn’t been a problem. I was a big pedometer user in the past, but they could get bulky in my pockets, plus, I wear skirts or dresses without pockets to teach quite often. Or, I would simply forget to change it from my last outfit. I like that I can get the Flex wet in the shower and wear it pretty much all the time, and it’s fairly unobtrusive. My only issue is losing the charger all the time (I just got a back-up) and remembering to charge it about every five days or less.

        As someone for whom gym memberships stress me out (they are expensive and I’m always worried I’m not using it enough, which is usually true, this is an ideal gadget for me. If I hit a windfall, I’d love to get Matt one, too. I can’t tell you how many pedometers he has lost 🙂

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