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?