Why Sundays Count During Lent

The first Sunday of Lent. Can I tell you how excited I am that it’s here? This morning you get a bit of fashion and a bit of theology. I’ll chat about why I love denim and why we don’t take Sundays off during Lent here at Casa Whitaker. I know, riveting stuff.

As they say, fashion first. Those pants and shoes are a good decade old, I think. I know skinny jeans are in style, but I love my flare pants. What can I say? Kid of the 70s here.

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Now for your theology. At our house, we don’t believe in taking off Sundays during Lent. For my non-Catholic readers, Catholics typically fast from something during the 40ish day season. Some argue that because Sunday is a feast day (the Lord’s Day) that no fasting should take place because we are, in fact, celebrating Christ’s resurrection. I say that’s hogwash. And, I do have priest to back me up here. Hat tip to Fr. Dave Dwyer over at Busted Halo. He puts it into this context. If you gave up swearing, for example. How holy would it be to cuss up a storm on Sunday if using the feast day analogy?

If you count from Ash Wednesday to Wednesday before Holy Thursday (NO, the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are not counted in the Lenten season) it’s 42 days this year. That count varies somewhat, but it’s around 40. So, if you delete the Sundays, you’re now down to 36. Come on folks, if you can’t give it up for 6 extra days then perhaps we’ve lost sight of the season. Lent is about drawing us closer to God. Let’s not lose sight of the big picture.

As Fr. Dave so eloquently reminds us, the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday is called “The First Sunday of Lent” not, “The First Sunday of Not-Lent”. <– my personal favorite

I realize everybody has their own personal preference during these 40 days. As a parent, I just find it incredibly difficult to say, “Hey, we’re giving this up for Lent, but you know, Sundays? They don’t count.” We go cold turkey here and it works for us. We still celebrate the Sunday feast, but our fasts don’t get a bye.

I pray you have an awesome Lenten season. Our sweet priest reminded us this morning, “what are you doing to strengthen the kingdom of God? It’s time to get to it.”


  1. Hallie @ Moxie Wife on February 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Two things: I love this Lenten reflection (such great insights) and…CUTE pants! 🙂

    • Kathryn on February 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Hallie x2 🙂

  2. Beth Anne on February 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I love Father Dwyer. I got to see him at a local parish mission a few weeks ago and was sad I couldn’t go all 3 days he was so awesome and I secretly want to subscribe to XM or Sirius Radio just to listen to his show everyday!

  3. Rosie on February 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    2 things here too:

    1. I love that shirt!

    2. My sister just blogged pretty much the opposite of this, but with some commonalities. (http://www.piercedhands.com/cheating-on-sundays/) Obviously, if what you’re abstaining from during Lent is a vice, partaking on Sundays really negates the purpose of the Lord’s day. My husband is all for keeping the fast even on sundays, because it makes Easter more meaningful for him. I find my Lent is more meaningful if I *do* indulge on Sundays – the fast from meat, sweets, booze, whatever I happen to be abstaining from, is more difficult for me when I get to indulge, because it’s always in the forefront of my mind. It honestly makes eating sweets a prayerful experience for me on Sundays!

    BUT, I’m not going to try to shove a chocolate bar down my husband’s throat every Sunday – we can observe the feast in different ways, even in our own families!

    • Kathryn on February 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Everyone does have their take. As a convert, I was taught in RCIA that Sundays do count and we’ve been practicing it that way ever since. I’m happy to hear you’ve found harmony in your marriage – that’s important! Have a blessed Lent.

  4. Beth (A Mom's Life) on February 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I really like the denim and khaki combo and I love that the denim is a darker wash. And the earrings are super cute!

  5. Shannon @ Sword&Stein on February 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    1. My husband and I talked about denim at Mass last evening (I mentioned it in today’s post). Anyway, I love your top. Chambray rocks!
    2. Of all the awesome interchangeable earrings, I think I like the peridot best. It’s a tough color to wear, but so happy.
    3. I don’t typically give up edibles for Lent, so I’ve never really bought into that “Sundays Don’t Count” rule. Kinda like eating meat on every non-Lent Friday of the year. Old school is new school.

  6. Mary on February 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Love the pants. Love the earring. Fabulous Lenten reflection. This is how I was raised, so this is how things work in my house. Happy Sunday!

  7. Bea on February 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Love the dark wash of your denim shirt. And now maybe l’ll get khaki pants. This is what happens when you live in scrubs or workout gear! Great ideas.

    I never take off Sundays. We go all the way through to Easter, baby. I didn’t even know that was possible. Have you ever fasted during Lent (a complete fast)? I’m curious as I’ve heard mixed experiences,but many say it helped them appreciate 40 days of fasting after going through one. Thoughts?

    • Kathryn on February 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

      I’ve either been pregnant or nursing through many Lents, so I haven’t taken the plunge this year. I’ve had friends that have done a complete fast and they appreciated the season, for sure. I’m not sure I could swing that, though.

  8. Mandi @ Messy Wife, Blessed Life on February 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Those earrings are neat! I don’t believe in “cheating” on Sundays either.

  9. Deme @ Crinion Clan on February 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Ok, you always look so put together and have the best cut pants. Those look fantastic on you and I love the dark wash of the denim shirt. Home run, Mama!

    We’re a no-cheat-on-Sundays kinda household too 🙂

  10. lisa on February 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Love Fr. Dave! He was our campus priest and gently helped me during my “re-version” in college. Did you know he worked at MTV before realizing his priestly calling?

    Love the khaki and denim!

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