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Tracie Floyd wrote:

Hi, guys —

Last year, my step-mother, who is a cradle Catholic, informed my daughters and I that during Lent whatever sacrifices we committed to, could be done on any day during Lent, except on Sundays.

  • Could you please clarify this?

I don't understand why shouldn't be able to continue our penance on Sundays of Lent.

Thank You,

Tracie Floyd

  { Can you clarify why our Lenten sacrifices should not be done during Sunday's of Lent? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Tracie —

Giving something up for Lent, with the exclusion of:

  • meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday, and
  • fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday

is a pious custom but is not found in canon law or the tradition of the Church. Hence there are no guidelines or regulations concerning it and no right answer to your question.

The rationale for the practice you mention — indulging on Sundays in whatever it you gave up for Lent — is that, supposedly, if you count the days in Lent, you get more than forty unless you subtract Sundays.

Ergo, Sundays are not, the argument goes, a part of Lent. That said, this has never been the Church's liturgical practice. Sundays are clearly a part of Lent and are named as such and use a penitential color and so forth. The bottom line is, since giving something up for Lent is purely voluntary, how you want to manage it in your personal life, is up to you. If you want to cheat you aren't less of a Catholic for doing so, nor are you violating any laws or traditions.

For more information, see


Bob replied:


This is popular view on carrying out the Lenten observance, since Sundays are a little foreshadowing of Easter, the fasting is not held.

There is no canon law with respect to this, so to each his own. I often eat things I gave up for Lent on Sundays.

Do whatever feels right.


Bob Kirby

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