By: Ana Johnston
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. You may think you have an overall understanding of Lent, but there are several common misconceptions that we, as a Catholic community during this Lenten season, may or may not know..
Myth #1 – Lent is 40 days.
Explanation: From the date of Ash Wednesday which starts the season, to Holy Saturday, it totals 46 days. The reason that we believe Lent to only be 40 days is because the days of fasting during Lent does not include Sundays, therefore, we are only fasting a total of 40 days during the entire season.
Myth #2– Lent ends on Easter Sunday
Explanation- It is believed that Lent’s actual end date is Easter Sunday, which is incorrect. Lent ends on Holy Thursday. The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1st this year, and ends on Holy Thursday, April 13th, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples.
Myth #3– The Pope decides the date of Easter.
Explanation- It is actually a scientific calculation, founded during a meeting of church bishops and the Council of Nicea in the year 325 A.D. The earliest possible date of Easter is March 22, and the latest is April 25.This year Easter is on April 16th.
As a community, we have used our season of Lent towards charitable donations by fasting. Since 1975, American Catholics have donated $250 million during Lent to feed the hungry around the world.