When does Lent really end?


Full Question

When does Lent end, and can we "rest" from our Lenten penances on the Sundays of Lent, as those Sundays are not part of Lent?

Answer

Lent ends when the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday begins, because the Mass of the Lord’s Supper ushers in the Holy Triduum, a liturgical season in its own right and the shortest of the liturgical year. As for the Lenten penances, those are voluntary practices that people take up as personal devotions in addition to the penances required by the Church on the Fridays of Lent. As voluntary penances can be voluntarily set aside, taking a break from them on Sundays in honor of the Lord’s Day is perfectly fine. That said, the Sundays of Lent are indeed part of the Lenten season.