When does Lent officially end

As Kids we gave up something for Lent. Now my Dad always said you could not have it until Easter Sunday. But one day this guy told me my Dad was wrong. You can have whatever you gave up Right after Good Friday. What is the correct answer?

Lent ends with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. A new liturgical season (the shortest one), The Paschal Triduum, begins at that point. The Paschal Triduum is NOT part of Lent.


As a child I was always told it was midday on the Saturday.

Good Friday is counted along with the Fridays of Lent for purposes of abstinence. Indeed it’s a more penitential day than the other Fridays, being also a day of fast. Personally I don’t think it’d be quite appropriate to take up whatever you gave up for Lent until Holy Saturday at the earliest.

Personally, I don’t even think it would be appropriate on Holy Saturday. It is the “dead” liturgical day of the year.

  1. Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Easter. For the Lenten liturgy disposes both catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery: catechumens, through the several stages of Christian initiation; the faithful, through reminders of their own baptism and through penitential practices. [13]

  2. Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive.

Source: General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar

At one time it was because the Vigil was before noon on Holy Saturday. That changed in 1955.

It’s true that Lent ends with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper but we are still under obligation to fast on Good Friday and are called to maintain that fast until AFTER the Easter Vigil. In our parish we have a communal meal after the Vigil

Are there any here who have their Vigil starting after midnight?

This is correct, however I think people are wanting to know when can we indulge with what we gave up for Lent and that answer should be Easter Sunday.

Why is that, because what we give up should not only be “For Lent”

Why are we giving up anything at all? We are giving up for “Christ”

Until Jesus has risen, you should honestly keep giving up and abstain.

Yes, Im sorry i should have been more specific I did mean on what you gave up, when you could have it. Also if we gave something up we could not have it until Easter Sunday, Now I was told I was also wrong on that too. That you could have in on Sundays during lent. We were taught not Until Easter Sunday Period.

I grew up pre-Vatican II, and we never fasted on Sundays, and that is what we were taught in our religion classes. But we considered Lent as being over on Easter Sunday.

We always had to give up candy and such for Lent when we were kids – but if it hadn’t been mentioned we wouldn’t have noticed since candy wasn’t found in our house except at Christmas and Easter. But the idea of not fasting on Sunday was strong so we were usually taken out for a treat on those days – go figure, we looked forward to Lent. :smiley:

Yes, that is correct. At that time, Evening Masses were not allowed and so the Mass of Holy Saturday (tech. the Vigil Mass of Easter) was celebrated in the morning. Since that Mass signaled the beginning of Easter, according to Canon law fasting ceased at 12 noon. Later, when permission was given for the midnight Easter Vigil (which eventually became the standard in 1955), the period was extended to the night.

Wait till i get a hold of my dad he never mentioned the no fast on sundays.


Actually Maundy Thursday needs to be a non-fast/abstinence day, as you need to prepare for the Triduum. (In the old days, when people didn’t wash while they were fasting, they would get washed up in preparation for the Eucharist on that day)

And I see no theological reason to fast after the Exultet is sung and the bells are rung. He is Risen!!!

Also, all Sundays are supposed to be feast days. Just as every Friday is a representation of Good Friday (in a small way, as it is supposed to be a penitential day), all Sundays are a rememberence of the Resurrection.

I always thought that technically Lent ended at midnight between Holy Saturday and Easter morning. But then there are the Easter Vigil Masses.

Also, depending on the ethnic customs, many either have their food blessed on Holy Saturday and/or in one parish that I know of, the Church used to ring its bells at noon on Holy Saturday - I think sort as an announcement. While I would assume midnight heralds the end of Lent, I usually will eat some of the Easter ‘goodies’ after noon time on Holy Saturday. But Good Friday is definitely not to be disregarded - the most solemn day in our Church’s calendar is most assuredly part of Lent to my mind Remember, the 40 days of Lent are synonymous with Our Lord’s fasting in the desert - 40 days and 40 nights.

I was taught this way, too. As an adult, it finally dawned on me that if Lent is 40 days long, how come it lasts just over 6 weeks??? Subtract out the Sundays, and guess what?

This thread has me really confused.:confused: I, too, was raised / educated pre-Vatican II. Some of that time I was under the “age of reason”, as I believe it’s termed for fasting rules. But I ***absolutely don’t recall ***being taught that we had to fast the entire duration of Lent (with or without Sundays). Fast days were what were/still are indicated on Catholic calendars - be they published by traditional or non-traditional groups. I mention traditional groups since they are more likely to indicate pre-Vatican II rulings. The only fast and abstinence days indicated are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.:confused:

the liturgical season of Lent ends at sundown on Holy Thursday, when the Mass of the Lord’s Supper begings (actual time set by each diocese). This begins the liturgical season of the Triduum, 3 days, sundown Thursday to sundown Good Friday, sundown Good Friday to sundown Holy Saturday, when the Easter Vigil begins (time set by each diocese), beginning of Easter Vigil to midnight Easter Sunday, third day.

the Paschal Fast begins after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, when the Body of the Lord is removed from the tabernacle and processed to an altar of reposition in another suitable location, in a silent procession, for adoration by the faithful, not to extend past midnight. This should be a more intense, deeper fast than the Lenten fast, not only from food, meat etc., but from frivolous pursuits in general, and should be as much as possible a time of silence, necessary speech only. This of course is intended for the Elect who are preparing most intensely and are in retreat in anticipation of their sacramental initiation, but by extension, the whole Church should be fasting. Definitely not the time for parties and entertainment. This fast ends when the Easter Vigil begins.

yes, for those who ask, in former days vigils of great feasts like Easter and Christmas were days of fast and abstinence. Sunday has never been a suitable day for fasting, because the gospel tells us, we do not fast when the Bridegroom is present.

notice that the penitential color of purple is lifted on Holy Thursday, as the altar is clothed in white, and stripped after the conclusion of the liturgy

Easter Triduum doesn’t end at midnight Easter Sunday. It ends with the conclusion of Vespers on Easter Sunday.

Purple isn’t dropped in the liturgy after Holy Thursday. It remains the color of the Office, e.g., on Holy Saturday, or for Compline on Holy Thursday, etc., etc.

By fasting, I meant the things we gave up for Lent. Many of us gave up our favorite foods, or sweets, or did not eat between meals. On Sundays we did not do this. Not that we overdid it, but we ate normally, could have our sweets or whatever we gave up. We also kept the obligitory fasts and abstinences of the Church. We kept this up until Easter Sunday.