Are Sunday’s a Part of Lent? Yes. Here’s Why


Next Wednesday is the start of Lent. Next Wednesday! Madness!

Back when I worked as an apologist with Catholic Answers we received a lot of questions around this time of year. Perhaps the most common was, “are Sunday’s excluded from Lent?”

The answer is . . . are you ready for this?

No. Sunday’s are not excluded from Lent. According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, “Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive” (28).

No exceptions are given for Sunday’s during Lent. In fact, a couple of paragraphs later the GN says: “The Sundays of this season are called the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The Sixth Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, is called Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday)” (30).

So there you have it. Now, does that mean that we cannot choose to allow ourselves the things we voluntarily gave up for lent? No, it doesn’t. These voluntary fasts are personal devotions. Because they have been voluntarily taken up, we can choose to set them aside.

That said, be awesome and sacrifice this Lent. What my P.E coach told me in middle-school applies to Lent also, “mate, if it’s not hurting, you’re not doing it right.”


3 thoughts on “Are Sunday’s a Part of Lent? Yes. Here’s Why

  1. I agree that Lenten sacrifices are voluntary (other than Ash Wednesday and Friday abstinence and fasting requirements), but technically the 40 days of lent do not include the Sunday’s – they add up to 46 days. Even though liturgically they are included.

    Moreover, Sunday’s are a day of glory so there should never be fasting or abstinence on these days. I found a link to a Q&A from Jimmy Akin ( but unfortunately I have not looked long enough (or hard enough) to find a solid church resource that confirms this.

    The church practice on the period of lent and the practices have also changed over time. My personal view is that If we view the Lenten sacrifice as “giving something up” then it’s a bit odd to indulge on Sunday’s. But if are “doing something” for lent , it’s probably good idea to do it all the way through 😀

  2. I understand what you are suggesting and I think it comes from a great desire to serve the Lord which does not cease on Sundays during lent but instead should be intensified. Our focus should be on the Lord and all the good things He has done for us. It is a day of celebration even during lent and thus being the case, fasting and abstinence as sacrifice should not be observed.

    Can. 1246 §1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation.

    1247 …Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

    1. I would also add that it probaly depends on what you are giving up. If you are abstaining from something that may or does hinder the Worship of the Lord then I would most definitely continue abstaining.

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