Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sundays in Lent

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is tomorrow. So here’s a quick quiz for you. How many days are in Lent? 40, right? OK now, how many Sundays are in Lent?

I can see you all looking at your calendars now checking, and I bet you’ve all come up with six, with the last one being Palm Sunday. But you’re wrong, and that could end up being a good thing for many of you.

Yes, you saw that right, you’re wrong. There are no Sundays in Lent. There are Sundays that fall during Lent, but I found out a few years ago that they’re not really part of the season.

How can this be? Simple. Count all the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. That gives you 46 days. Subtract the six Sundays, and you get the expected 40 days of Lent.

But wait, there’s more! Since Sundays are always feast days because they’re “little Easters,” there’s no fasting then.

To borrow a line from Martin Luther “What does this mean?”

It means that those of you who gave up one of your favorite things for Lent can still have it on Sunday, because it’s a feast day.

And no, it’s not cheating. It’s not a matter of fudging the rules. It’s a matter of understanding what the rules really are, and remembering that every Sunday is a reason to celebrate, because of what we know will happen on Easter.

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