Saturday, 4 April 2015

When does Lent End?

There are two days for the end of Lent. What most people mean by "When does Lent end?" is "When does the Lenten fast end?" The answer to that question is Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday), which is the 46th day since Ash Wednesday (if you include Ash Wednesday) but the 40th day of the 40-day Lenten fast. Liturgically, however, Lent ends two days earlier, on Holy Thursday—at least since 1969, when the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, which govern the revised Roman calendar used in the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass, were released. More specifically, paragraph 28 of the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar states, "Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive." In other words, liturgically speaking, Lent ends just before the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening, when the liturgical season of the Easter Triduum begins.