Lent 2023 – When Does Lent Start and End in 2023?
Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Easter. Lent is a period of forty days of fasting leading up to Easter and is celebrated, in various forms around the globe. Lent is the Old English word for spring. In almost all other languages, Lent’s name is a derivative of the Latin term Quadragesima or “the forty days.” Lent, often called the Lenten season, is observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer.
What is Lent?
Lent is an observance lasting 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday and ending just before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is to focus on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the miracle of His Resurrection. During the Lenten season, many people make a personal commitment to fasting or giving up certain things in their lives as an act of penitence. The number 40 is significant throughout Scripture; Noah was on the Ark for 40 days, Moses fasted 40 days before receiving the Ten Commandments and Jesus spent 40 days fasting in preparation for His work on earth.
While Easter celebrates Jesus resurrection after his crucifixation, Lent marks the time Jesus spent in the wilderness beforehand. According to Bible, Jesus Christ spent 40 days in the dessert while preparing for his ministry. During this time Jesus fasted, and Christians today try to replicate his self-discipline at this time. Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday). Count it as you will, that’s more than forty days. So, forty days is an approximation.
What happens during Lent?
During Lent, Christians use the time for prayer and penance, and as a period of self-reflection. The celebration of Lent is not a commandment but an opportunity to renew our faith and edify our spirit. It is giving up something we enjoy, engaging in physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general. These actions are intended to replicate the self-discipline Jesus Christ showed when he withdrew into the dessert for 40 days.
There are a variety of saints’ days that fall during Lent, and some of these change from year to year, since the dates of Lent itself change based on when Easter falls. However, the Sundays during the Lenten season commemorate special events in the life of our Lord, such as his Transfiguration and his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. Holy Week climaxes with Holy Thursday, on which Christ celebrated the first Mass; Good Friday, on which he was crucified; and Holy Saturday-the last day of Lent-during which our Lord lay in the tomb before his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Counting the Days
If you count the days from Ash Wednesday until Easter, you will realize there are more than 40. The reason for this is that Sundays are not included because they are always celebrations of the Resurrection and, since the Second Vatican Council, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are considered part of the Easter Triduum instead of the last two days of Lent.
This is not true for Eastern Orthodox and Eastern-rite Catholics. They begin Lent on Clean Monday, the Monday before Ash Wednesday, and include Sundays. Lent therefore ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday and Holy Week are considered separate from Lent itself.
When does Lent begin?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. This year Lent will start on February 22, 2023 and will end on Holy Saturday, April 8th, 2023..
The last week of Lent begins with Palm Sunday, which celebrates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and the people lay down palms at his feet. The last day of Lent is Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday (Easter Day). In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Lent Dates in 2023
Ash Wednesday: February 22, 2023
Palm Sunday: April 2, 2023
Holy Monday: April 3, 2023
Holy Tuesday: April 4, 2023
Holy Wednesday: April 5, 2023
Maundy Thursday: April 6, 2023
Good Friday: April 7, 2023
Holy Saturday: April 8, 2023
Easter Sunday: April 9, 2023