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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do Sundays in Lent Count?

There are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.  Did you know that?  How then, do we arrive at 40 days of Lent?

300x300 choc rose cake
By SimonJamesKent (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
( or GFDL
 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The disciples were Jewish.  They grew up with the idea of celebrating a Sabbath day.  Of course, for them, it was Saturday.  But after the resurrection, which occurred on a Sunday, the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday.  The Sabbath for early Christians was a day to celebrate the resurrection, and we do not fast "while the Bridegroom is present".

So...Sundays, which are always a day of celebration of the resurrection, no matter what season of the church calendar they fall not "count" in the 40 days.

Lenten disciplines, though, are a personal devotion.  It is wise to consider our motivation for keeping them, our reasons for wanting to break them, and the impact that a "break" on Sunday will have on our Lenten journey.  I do not say this to discourage anyone from "taking Sundays off".  Actually, I think that Sundays should be a day of celebration at all times.  It is important to note, though, that the mass does change during the Lenten season.  We do not sing the Gloria; we do not say the "A" word.  Each individual Christian, who observes Lent, must prayerfully examine his or her heart to determine the best course to take.

Was posting this picture of a chocolate cake really mean?  Probably, but I'm giving myself a pass because it is Sunday...and our Lenten Disciplines are about Him, not us.  Just submit all hate mail in the comments box below.  =D


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  1. Can you share the recipe instructions for constructing that cake? I am posting as anonymous because I am computer challenged and don't understand all the profile things listed.

    1. The photo is actually a public domain photo, since we do not have deserts in the house during I had to get one from the internet! However, my daughter, who is a quite skilled cake creator, says that the cake is iced, edging with chocolate dipped cookie straws (bought), and then topped with roses made petal by petal with modeling chocolate. I wish that I could say that we made it, because I am missing sweets about now, and am looking forward to Laetare Sunday, on which I will cheating, just a tad. =)

  2. Hi Michelle,
    No hate mail here! I do like the Sundays off during Lent routine. As long as I don't over indulge then I will have my sweets but for the most part, I try to keep Sundays like the rest of the week. It makes Mondays harder because I feel the urge to reach for a sweet snack!

  3. I have one word about that picture. Ack!!

    We don't really take Sundays off. We are just allowed wine and oil, lol. I think that may be more of a Western tradition. I agree with Michelle though. Anytime I cheat or get off the bandwagon it can be a real slippery slope after that.

  4. In the Orthodox tradition the render of Lent is 40 Days between Clean Monday and Lazauras Saturday (or perhaps Palm Sunday, I can't remember). Holy Week is a week of it's own outside of Lent (but still practicing the Lenten disciplines). Then Pascha. We count Sunday's in Lent and continue to sing Alleluia - which I know in many western Liturgical traditions is left out during Lent. So, we celebrate the Lord's Resurrection always on Sunday, but we keep the Lenten fast and disciplines.

  5. It was only in the past few years that I heard of people breaking their Lenten fast on Sunday. Until last year, I never did. But, I also heard that having a 'taste' of the item you gave up could make the sacrifice more challenging for the week ahead.

  6. This was new to me too...well, last year it was.


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