Lent (Latin: Quadragesima - English: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Day. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. This event, along with its pious customs are observed by Christians in the Anglican, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic traditions. Today, some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.
Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the tradition and events of the New Testament beginning on Friday of Sorrows, further climaxing on Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, which ultimately culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Many Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional, to draw themselves near to God. The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and of his execution, are often observed. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat, most notably among Roman Catholics.
Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent, before beginning his public ministry, fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by the Devil. In most of the West, it begins on Ash Wednesday. Different Christian denominations calculate its length differently. On this see Duration, below.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Duration
- 3 Other related fasting periods
- 4 Associated customs
- 5 Prohibition of singing the Gloria and Alleluia
- 6 Veiling of religious images
- 7 Media coverage
- 8 Facts about Lent
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In Latin the term quadragesima (translation of the original Greek Τεσσαρακοστή, Tessarakostē, the "fortieth" day before Easter) is used. This nomenclature is preserved in Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages (for example, Spanish cuaresma, Portuguese quaresma, French carême, Italian quaresima, Romanian păresimi, Croatian korizma, Irish Carghas, and Welsh C(a)rawys).
In most Slavic languages the common name is simply a phrase meaning "fasting time" (as Czech postní doba) or "great fast" (as Russian великий пост vyeliki post or Polish wielki post). In Tagalog, the name retains from its Spanish wording Cuaresma while the local wording uses "Mahal na Araw" or "Beloved Days".
In the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the vernacular instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted. This word initially simply meant spring (as in the German language Lenz and Dutch lente) and derives from the Germanic root for long because in the spring the days visibly lengthen.
Different Christian denominations calculate the forty days of Lent differently. In the West, the prevailing calculation has been that which makes the season of Lent last from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. This calculation makes Lent last 46 days, if the 6 Sundays are included, but only 40, if they are excluded, because there was no obligation to fast on the 6 Sundays in Lent. This definition is still that of the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, and Western Rite Orthodox Church.
Since 1969, the Catholic Church's definition of Lent in the Roman Rite is: "The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to but excluding the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive." That makes a total of 44 liturgical days, since the Mass of the Lord's Supper on what in the civil calendar is the evening of Holy Thursday is already part of the Good Friday liturgical day, the first of the three days of the Paschal Triduum, or 38 days, if Sundays are excluded. Accordingly, the expression "forty days of Lent" is "approximative, for spiritual purposes". Since the first two days of the Paschal Triduum, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, are days of fast like the Lenten weekdays, the total number of days of fast is exactly forty.
In the Ambrosian Rite of the Latin Catholic Church, Lent begins on the Sunday that follows what is celebrated as Ash Wednesday elsewhere and ends as in the Roman Rite, thus being of 40 days, counting the Sundays but not Holy Thursday. The fast begins on Monday, the first weekday in Lent, and ends as in the Roman Rite. The special Ash Wednesday fast is transferred to the first Friday of the Ambrosian Lent. Until this rite was revised by Saint Charles Borromeo the liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent was festive, celebrated in white vestments with chanting of the Gloria in Excelsis and Alleluia, in line with the recommendation in Matthew 6:16, "When you fast, do not look gloomy".
In those churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople, i.e., the Eastern Orthodox and the Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholics (not all Eastern Catholics), the forty days of Lent and of fasting, which include Sundays, begin not on Ash Wednesday, but on Clean Monday. Lent then ends on the fortieth day from that date, which is the Friday before Palm Sunday. The days of Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday and Holy Week are considered a distinct period of fasting. For more detailed information about this practice of Lent, see the article Great Lent.
In addition, determination of the date of Easter in the East is not based on the Gregorian calculations (see Computus). In most years this results in a difference of some weeks, which can be as many as five.
Among the Oriental Orthodox, there are various local traditions regarding Lent. The Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches observe eight weeks of Lent, which, with both Saturdays and Sunday mornings exempt, has forty days of fasting. Only food, water and salt may be allowed during fasting, which runs for a total of 56 days.
Others attribute these seven days to the fast of Holofernes who asked the Syrian Christians to fast for him after they requested his assistance to repel the invading pagan Persians. Joyous Saturday and the week preceding it are counted separately from the forty-day fast in accordance with the Apostolic Constitutions giving an extra eight days.
The number forty has many Biblical references: the forty days Moses spent on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18); the forty days and nights Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8); the forty days and nights God sent rain in the great flood of Noah (Genesis 7:4); the forty years the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while traveling to the Promised Land (Numbers 14:33); the forty days Jonah gave in his prophecy of judgment to the city of Nineveh in which to repent or be destroyed (Jonah 3:4).
Jesus retreated into the wilderness, where He fasted for forty days, and was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1–2, Mark 1:12–13, Luke 4:1–2). He overcame all three of Satan's temptations by citing scripture to the devil, at which point the devil left him, angels ministered to Jesus, and He began His ministry. Jesus further said that His disciples should fast "when the bridegroom shall be taken from them" (Matthew 9:15), a reference to his Passion. Since, presumably, the Apostles fasted as they mourned the death of Jesus, Christians have traditionally fasted during the annual commemoration of his burial.
It is the traditional belief that Jesus lay for forty hours in the tomb which led to the forty hours of total fast that preceded the Easter celebration in the early Church (the biblical reference to 'three days in the tomb' is understood as spanning three days, from Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning, rather than three 24 hour periods of time). One of the most important ceremonies at Easter was the baptism of the initiates on Easter Eve. The fast was initially undertaken by the catechumens to prepare them for the reception of this sacrament. Later, the period of fasting from Good Friday until Easter Day was extended to six days, to correspond with the six weeks of training, necessary to give the final instruction to those converts who were to be baptized.
Converts to Catholicism followed a strict catechumenate or period of instruction and discipline prior to baptism. In Jerusalem near the close of the fourth century, classes were held throughout Lent for three hours each day. With the legalization of Christianity (by the Edict of Milan) and its later imposition as the state religion of the Roman Empire, its character was endangered by the great influx of new members. In response, the Lenten fast and practices of self-renunciation were required annually of all Christians, both to show solidarity with the catechumens, and for their own spiritual benefit.
There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour).
However, in modern times, observers give up an action of theirs considered to be a vice, add something that is considered to be able to bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
In addition, some believers add a regular spiritual discipline, such as reading a Lenten daily devotional. Another practice commonly added is the singing of Stabat Mater hymn in designated groups. Among Filipino Catholics, the recitation of Jesus Christ' passion called Pasiong Mahal is also observed. In some Christian countries, grand religious processions and cultural customs are observed, and the faithful attempt to visit seven churches during Holy Week in honor of Jesus Christ heading to Mount Calvary.
In many liturgical Christian denominations, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday form the Easter Triduum. Lent is a season of grief that necessarily ends with a great celebration of Easter. It is known in Eastern Orthodox circles as the season of "Bright Sadness." It is a season of sorrowful reflection which is punctuated by breaks in the fast on Sundays.
Prohibition of singing the Gloria and Alleluia
In the Roman Catholic Mass, Lutheran Divine Service, and Anglican Eucharist, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is not normally sung during the Lenten season, disappearing on Ash Wednesday and not returning until Maundy Thursday, the joyful commemoration of Christ's institution of the Holy Eucharist. It may, however, be sung on certain solemnities and feasts that occur during Lent, such as the Annunciation.
Likewise, the Alleluia is not sung during Lent. It is replaced before the Gospel reading by a seasonal acclamation such as "Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory". In the pre-1970 form of the Roman Rite omission of the Alleluia begins with Septuagesima. Even on feasts in Lent, Alleluia is not sung.
In the Byzantine Rite, the Gloria (Great Doxology) continues to be used in its normal place in the Matins service, and the Alleluia appears all the more frequently, replacing "God is the Lord" at Matins.
Veiling of religious images
In certain pious Catholic countries prior to the Second Vatican Council, religious objects were veiled for the entire forty-days of Lent. Though perhaps uncommon in the United States of America, this pious practice is consistently observed in Malaga, Seville and Barcelona, Spain, as well as in Malta, Goa, India, Peru and the Philippine islands (with the exception on processional images). In Ireland prior to Vatican II, when impoverished rural Catholic convents and parishes could not afford purple fabrics, they resorted to either removing the statues altogether, or if too heavy or bothersome; turned the statues to face the wall. As is popular custom, the 14 Stations of the Cross plaques on the walls are not veiled.
Former crucifixes made before the time of Saint Francis of Assisi did not have a corpus (body of Christ), therefore adorned with jewels and gemstones which was referred to as Crux Gemmatae. In order to keep the faithful from adoring the Crucifixes elaborated with ornamentation, veiling it in royal purple fabrics came into place. The violet colour later evolved as a color of penance and mourning.
Further liturgical changes in modernity reduced it to the last week of Passiontide. In cases where no violet fabrics could be afford by the parish, only the heads of the statues were veiled. If there were no fabrics afforded at all, the religious statues and images were turned around facing the wall and flowers were always removed as a sign of solemn mourning. In pre-1970 forms of the Roman Rite, the last two weeks of Lent are known as Passiontide, a period beginning on the Fifth Sunday in Lent, which in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal is called the First Sunday in Passiontide and in earlier editions Passion Sunday. All statues (and in England paintings as well) in the church were traditionally veiled in violet. This was seen as in keeping with the Gospel of that Sunday (John 8:46–59), in which Jesus “hid himself” from the people.
Due to the lack of piety and ornate Catholic artwork by general within the United States of America after the Second Vatican Council, the need to veil statues or crosses became increasingly irrelevant and deemed unnecessary by various diocesan bishops. As a result, the veils were removed at the singing of the Gloria during the Easter Vigil. In 1970 the name "Passiontide" was dropped, although the last two weeks are markedly different from the rest of the season, and continuance of the tradition of veiling images is left to the decision of a country's conference of bishops or even to individual parishes as pastors may wish.
On Good Friday, the Lutherans, Methodists and Anglican churches veil "all pictures, statutes, and the cross are covered in mourning black" while the chancel and altar coverings are replaced with black, and altar candles are extinguished." The fabrics are then "replaced with white on sunrise on Easter Sunday".
The traditional carnival celebrations which precede Lent in many cultures have become associated with the season of fasting if only because they are a last opportunity for excess before Lent begins. The most famous pre-Lenten carnival in the world is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro; other famous Carnivals are held in Trinidad & Tobago, Venice, Cologne, Tenerife, Mobile, AL, St. Louis, MO, and New Orleans, LA. It is known by the name Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday.
Fasting and abstinence
Fasting during Lent was more severe in ancient times than today. Socrates Scholasticus reports that in some places, all animal products were strictly forbidden, while others will permit fish, others permit fish and fowl, others prohibit fruit and eggs, and still others eat only bread.
In some places, the observant abstained from food for an entire day; others took only one meal each day, while others abstained from all food until mid-afternoon. In most places the practice was to abstain from eating until the evening, when a small meal without vegetables or alcohol was eaten. The voluntary fasting common today comprises a main meal with two smaller repasts called collations which not exceed the caloric total of the main meal.
During the early Middle Ages, meat, eggs and dairy products were generally forbidden. Thomas Aquinas argued that "they afford greater pleasure as food [than fish], and greater nourishment to the human body, so that from their consumption there results a greater surplus available for seminal matter, which when abundant becomes a great incentive to lust." Aquinas also authorized the consumption of candy during Lent, because "sugared spices" (such as comfits) were, in his opinion, digestive aids on par with medicine rather than food.
However, dispensations for dairy products were given, frequently for a donation, from which several churches are popularly believed to have been built, including the "Butter Tower" of the Rouen Cathedral.
Giraldus Cambrensis in his Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales reports that "in Germany and the arctic regions," "great and religious persons," eat the tail of beavers as "fish" because of its superficial resemblance to "both the taste and colour of fish." The animal was also very abundant in Wales at the time.
In current Western societies the practice is considerably relaxed, though in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches abstinence from all animal products including fish, eggs, fowl and milk sourced from animals (e.g. goats and cows as opposed to the milk of soy beans and coconuts) is still commonly practiced, meaning only vegetarian (vegan) meals are consumed in many Eastern countries[which?] for the entire fifty-five days of their Lent. In the Roman Catholic Church for the duration of Lent, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday it is required to eat less than is customary for the day, with no meat, eating only one full meal and two small meals also totalling less than a full meal.
Pursuant to Canon 1253, days of fasting and abstinence are set by the national Episcopal Conference. Parallel to the fasting laws are the laws of abstinence. These bind those over the age of fourteen. On days of abstinence, the person must not eat meat or poultry. According to canon law, all Fridays of the year, Ash Wednesday and several other days are days of abstinence, though in most countries, the strict requirements for abstinence have been limited by the bishops (in accordance with Canon 1253) to the Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday. On other abstinence days, the faithful are invited to perform some other act of penance.
Exceptions to abstinence on Fridays during the Lenten Season can occur through the dispensation of a particular bishop. For example, in the United States in areas where the diocesan patron is St. Patrick (as in the Archdiocese of New York and Los Angeles) or where many Catholics share an Irish heritage (as in Boston), if St. Patrick's Day (17 March) falls on a Friday, the local bishop or archbishop can grant a dispensation to all Catholics of the diocese from abstinence. (Approximately one third of all Catholic dioceses in the United States grant such a dispensation.)
More universally, this occurs on the solemnities of St. Joseph and the Annunciation, which are on 19 and 25 March respectively (unless they conflict with a day of high rank in the calendar of the season). If those two solemnities, although not Holy Days of Obligation, fall on a Friday during Lent then the obligation to abstain is abrogated. Similarly, during those two solemnities, the faithful may temporarily partake of anything they gave up for Lent, unless they were trying to give up a habitual sin as their Lenten offering- which is not uncommon.
Contemporary legislation is rooted in the 1966 Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini. He recommended that fasting be appropriate to the local economic situation, and that all Catholics voluntarily fast and abstain. He also allowed that fasting and abstinence might be substituted with prayer and works of charity in nations with a lower standard of living.
After the Reformation, in the Lutheran Church, "Church orders of the 16th century retained the observation of the Lenten fast, and Lutherans have observed this season with a serene, earnest attitude." In the Anglican Church, Saint Augustine's Prayer Book, a companion to the Book of Common Prayer, states that fasting is "usually meaning not more than a light breakfast, one full meal, and one half meal, on the forty days of Lent." It further states that "the major Fast Days of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as the American Prayer-Book indicates, are stricter in obligation, though not in observance, than the other Fast Days, and therefore should not be neglected except in cases of serious illness or other necessity of an absolute character."
Traditionally, on Sunday and the hours before sunrise and after sunset some Churches such as Episcopalians allow 'breaks' in their lent promises, Roman Catholics may cease their fasting and start again whatever they gave up for Lent, after they attend Mass on Easter Sunday. Orthodox Christians break their fast after the Paschal Vigil (a service which starts around 11:00 pm on Holy Saturday), which includes the Paschal celebration of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. At the end of the service, the priest blesses eggs, cheese, flesh meats and other items that the faithful have been abstaining from for the duration of Great Lent.
Lenten traditions and liturgical practices are less common, less binding and sometimes non-existent or non-compulsory in tone among some liberal and progressive Christians since they do not generally emphasize piety and the mortification of the flesh as a significant virtue. A greater emphasis on the anticipation of Easter Sunday is often more encouraged than the desolate theme of Lent or Holy Week.
In modern times, some progressive Christian denominations as well as secular groups re-interpret the theme of Lent in a more joyful, positive tone, or engage its purpose towards non-religious causes such as environmental stewardship or health-related improvements via fasting.
During Lent, BBC's Radio Four normally broadcasts a series of fifteen-minute programmes called the Lent Talks. These are fifteen-minute programmes that are normally broadcast on a Wednesday, and have featured various speakers.
Facts about Lent
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There are several holy days within the season of Lent:
- Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent for Roman Catholics and most mainline Reformed and Protestant traditions.
- Clean Monday (or "Ash Monday") is the first day of Lent in Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
- By Pontifical decree, there is no Ash Wednesday in the Ambrosian Rite, and Lent begins liturgically on what the Roman Rite regards as first Sunday in Lent. Traditionally, the fast began on the first Monday of Lent as also reflected in the Mozarabic rite.
- The Sundays in Lent carry Latin names in German Lutheranism, derived from the beginning of the Sunday's introit. The first is called Invocabit, the second Reminiscere, the third Oculi, the fourth Laetare, the fifth Judica. The sixth Sunday is Palm Sunday.
- The fourth Sunday in Lent, which marks the halfway point between Ash Wednesday and Easter, is referred to as Laetare Sunday by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and many other Christians because of the traditional Entrance Antiphon of the Mass. Due to the more "joyful" character of the day (since laetare in Latin means "rejoice"), the priest (as well as deacon and subdeacon) has the option of wearing vestments of a rose colour (pink) instead of violet.
- The fourth Lenten Sunday, Mothering Sunday, which has become known as Mother's Day in the United Kingdom and an occasion for honouring mothers of children, has its origin in a sixteenth-century celebration of the Mother Church.
- The fifth Sunday in Lent, also known as Passion Sunday (however, that term is also applied to Palm Sunday) marks the beginning of Passiontide.
- The sixth Sunday in Lent, commonly called Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent immediately preceding Easter.
- Wednesday of Holy Week, Holy Wednesday (also sometimes known as Spy Wednesday) commemorates the day on which Judas spied on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane before betraying him.
- Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, and is a day Christians commemorate the Last Supper shared by Christ with his disciples.
In the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Old Catholic, and many other churches, the Easter Triduum is a three-day event that begins with the entrance hymn of the Mass of the Lord's Supper. After this Maundy Thursday evening celebration, the consecrated Hosts are taken from the altar solemnly to a place of reposition where the faithful are invited to worship the holy Body of Christ. On the next day the liturgical commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ is celebrated at 3 pm, unless a later time is chosen due to work schedules.
This service consists of readings from the Scriptures especially John the Evangelist's account of the Passion of Jesus, followed by prayers, veneration of the cross of Jesus, and a communion service at which the hosts consecrated at the evening Mass of the day before are distributed. The Easter Vigil during the night between Holy Saturday afternoon and Easter Sunday morning starts with the blessing of a fire and a special candle and with readings from Scripture associated with baptism, then the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is sung, water is blessed, baptism and confirmation of adults may take place, and the people are invited to renew the promises of their own baptism, and finally Mass is celebrated in the usual way from the Preparation of the Gifts onwards.
Holy Week and the season of Lent, depending on denomination and local custom, end with Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday or on the morning of Easter Sunday. It is custom for some churches to hold sunrise services which include open air celebrations in some places.
In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and many Anglican churches, the priest's vestments are violet during the season of Lent. On the fourth Sunday in Lent, rose-coloured (pink) vestments may be worn in lieu of violet. In some Anglican churches, a type of unbleached linen or muslin known as Lenten array is used during the first three weeks of Lent, and crimson during Passiontide. On holy days, the colour proper to the day is worn. Today, some atheists who find value in the Christian tradition, also observe Lent.
- Counting of the Omer
- Fasting in the Eastern Orthodox Church
- Fasting and abstinence in the Roman Catholic Church
- Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
- Fast of Nineveh
- People's Sunday
- Tisha B'Av
- Comparative Religion For Dummies. For Dummies. Retrieved 8 March 2011. "This is the day Lent begins. Christians go to church to pray and have a cross drawn in ashes on their foreheads. The ashes drawn on ancient tradition represent repentance before God. The holiday is part of Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Episcopalian liturgies, among others."
- Gassmann, Günther (4 January 2001). Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism. Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 180. ISBN 081086620X.
- Benedict, Philip (3 March 2014). Christ's Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism. Yale University Press. p. 506. ISBN 030010507X.
- Mennonite Stew - A Glossary: Lent. Third Way Café. Retrieved 24 February 2012. "Traditionally, Lent was not observed by the Mennonite church, and only recently have more modern Mennonite churches started to focus on the six week season preceding Easter."
- Brumley, Jeff. "Lent not just for Catholics, but also for some Baptists and other evangelicals". The Florida Times Union. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Crumm, David. Our Lent, 2nd Edition. ISBN 1934879509.
- This practice is observed in numerous pious Catholic countries, although the form of abstention may vary depending on what is customary. Some abstain from meat for 40 days, some do so only on Fridays, or some only on Good Friday itself. By pontifical decree under Pope Alexander VI, eggs and dairy products may be consumed by penitents during Lent in Spain and its colonized territories.
- "What is Lent and why does it last forty days?". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- "The Liturgical Year". The Anglican Catholic Church. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Lent Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- Akin, James. "All About Lent". EWTN. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- The Roman and the Lutheran Observance of Lent. Luther League of America. 1920. p. 5.
- What is Lent and why does it last forty days?. The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 20 April 2014. "Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection."
- Kitch, Anne E. (10 January 2003). The Anglican Family Prayer Book. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 130.
- The Northwestern Lutheran, Volumes 60-61. Northwestern Publishing House. 1973. p. 66.
- Langford, Andy (4 January 1993). Blueprints for worship: a user's guide for United Methodist congregations. Abingdon Press. p. 96.
- Fenton, John. "The Holy Season of Lent in the Western Tradition". Western Rite of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar (1969), 28
- Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar (1969), 3 and 19
- Akin, Jimmy. "9 things you need to know about Lent". National Catholic Register (A Service of EWTN). Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- (in Italian). Parrocchia S. Giovanna Antida Thouret http://www.adorazioneeucaristica.it/S.%20Ambrogio/Quaresima%20rito%20Ambrosiano.pdf. Retrieved 9 June 2014 \title=Il Tempo di Quaresima nel rito Ambrosiano. Missing or empty
- Catholic Encyclopedia – Lent See paragraph: Duration of the Fast
- The "Secret of the Mass" in the First Sunday of Lent - "Sacrificium Quadragesimalis Initii", Missale Romanum Ambrosianus
- The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church Faith and Order - Liturgical Calendar - http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/calendar.html
- Lent & Beyond: Dr. Peter Toon—From Septuagesima to Quadragesima (web site gone, no alternate source found, originally cited 27 August 2010)
- "Lent—disciplines and practices". Spirit Home. Retrieved 27 August 2010.[self-published source?]
- "General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 19". Catholicliturgy.com. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Bratcher, Dennis. "The Days of Holy Week". CRI.
- "'''Summa Theologica''' Q147a8". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Richardson, Tim H. (2002). Sweets: A History of Candy. Bloomsbury USA. pp. 147–148. ISBN 1-58234-229-6.
- Alejandro Torres Gutiérrez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. "Millennium:Fear and Religion". Archived from the original on 18 August 2002.
- "Baldwin's Itinerary Through Wales No. 2 by Giraldus Cambrensis". Gutenberg.org. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Colin B. Donovan, Fast and Abstinence. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- Engber, Daniel (15 March 2006). "Thou Shalt Eat Corned Beef on Friday: Who Sets the Rules on Lent?". Slate. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- "Canon 1251 of the Code of Canon Law". Vatican.va. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "The Church's Discipline as to Fasting and Abstinence". Anglican Communion. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Ash Wednesday: What Is Ash Wednesday? How Do We Observe It? Why Should We?". Patheos.com. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "An Ecofeminist Perspective on Ash Wednesday and Lent - USA - Peter Lang Verlagsgruppe". Peterlang.com. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- Hebden, Keith (3 March 2014). "This Lent I will eat no food, to highlight the hunger all around us". The Guardian.
- DiLallo, Matt (2 March 2014). "Believe it or Not, Catholics Observing Lent Save Our Environment". Fool.com. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- Kellow, Juliette (4 March 2014). "Cut out one treat for Lent and your waistline could reap the benefits". Daily Express. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- The Church of England rubric states: "The colour for a particular service should reflect the predominant theme. If the Collect, Readings, etc. on a Lesser Festival are those of the saint, then either red (for a martyr) or white is used; otherwise, the colour of the season is retained." See page 532 here.
- Winston, Kimberly. "After giving up religion, atheists try giving up something else for Lent". Religion News Service. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
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- The Lenten Season and How To Observe Lent
- Lent: Catholic Encyclopedia
- Daily Lenten Devotional - LHM
- Methodist Church: Lent and Easter Resources
- Bright Sadness -a Lenten devotional from a Christian-non-sectarian point of view, marking the milestones of Lent
- The Origins of Lent