Do Sundays "Count" During Lent?

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 40 days of Lent, so some people say our Lenten penances should not count 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.

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, though in a more muted way during Lent.  I might have a piece of chocolate (or not) on Sundays, but usually my husband, who goes meatless for Lent, usually doesn’t eat meat on Sundays in general.

We (actually, me) also tend to celebrate the feast days during Lent.  Just off the top of my head:  St. Patrick’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day (we have two in our immediate family, so we definitely celebrate this one, with savoiardi and usually a special dinner), the Feast of the Annunciation, and I’m sure I could find more.  To me they are not just a little “break” during Lent, but a way to really celebrate those important holidays in the liturgical year.

I’m putting up this question on Sunday, because I know some people take a break from the Internet during Lent, but do check in on Sundays.

So what about you?  Do you “count” the Sundays in Lent?  How is your Lent going after just this first few days?

2 thoughts on “Do Sundays "Count" During Lent?”

  1. For me, Sunday’s are definitely off limits for indulging your sacrifices. I don’t understand how one can be serious about sacrificing something if all you need to do is wait for the 7th day and then give in.

    Lets say that you are a smoker and decided to finally quit. On Sunday night before bed, you crushed out your cigarette. You endure the agony of all day Monday without any beloved nicotine. Tuesday is rough, but you chewed 2 packs of gum and made it. Wednesday was the toughest yet. On Thursday, it got a little easier and you weren’t quite so crabby. Friday and Saturday give you some pride that you’ve made it this long. Sunday morning comes and thank God, cause you can smoke all day!! 2 packs of Class A cigs and what a wonderful Sunday! Now, how is Monday going to go? Did you really make a sacrifice of quitting by smoking on Sunday. You’ll never quit or even come close that way. Exactly the same way I view Lenten sacrifices.

  2. That’s a good point, and something that people.
    >
    I think if one is trying to give up a truly bad habit, like smoking or, completely hypothetically here (not that I ever do this?: -), prone to yelling at one’s kids, “easing up” on Sunday is not good. In fact, I would argue that trying extra hard on Sunday is best.

    But for something good or neutral, like chocolate or soda, or watching a bit of television, Sunday seems fine to me.

    Remember, Sundays don’t count in the 40 days of Lent, so you can make a case for celebrating Sunday as a day of rest, even from our sacrifices from licit goods.

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