Rules Of Lent

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What Are The Rules of Lent?

Prohibitions Vary By Congregation And Culture

The rules of Lent in the Catholic Faith are guidelines for what to do in the 40 days prior to Easter. In the Western Church, Lent runs from Ash Wednesday (right after Mardi Gras or Carnival) to Easter Sunday. Lent is meant to represent the time Christ spent in the wilderness before beginning his ministry. Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Methodists also celebrate Lent in one way or the other.


The rules of lent involve fasting on holy days, making acts of penance, and giving alms. Many people will give up a favorite vice for this period of time, so someone who likes playing cards may choose to abstain until Lent is over.  In the past, Lenten rules made the consumption of meat, dairy products, and eggs forbidden unless special dispensation was given.  According to the rules in various churches, fasting may consist of eating one full meal per day, but it is permissible to snack during the day. On Fridays, meat should not be eaten, which is similar to the now-past prohibition of meat on any Friday. Because St. Patrick's day happens during Lent, many people may abstain from abstaining on this date.  In many protestant denominations the rules of lent provided that people gave up things they enjoyed (such as drinking or sports) but some cultures like Puritans chose to make a show of excess during Lent, which is unusual considering their cultural prohibitions.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Your Religion May Vary. The Variability of Your Religion May Be Prohibitetd By Other Religions.