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Lent Observance, Difference in the East and West


According to the Latin Rite, the Great Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. There are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Since Sundays are for the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord, they are exempt from Lenten observance. When excluding the six Sundays during the season of the Great Lent, there are only 40 days for Lent.

The Eastern churches have 50 days for the Great Lent, starting with seven Sundays before Easter (Petratha) and ending with Easter. As Jesus fasted in the wilderness, the faithful observed the lent for 40 days. The culmination of this is on the 40th Friday. The following days are for observing the passion of the Lord and his glorious resurrection. Thus, the 50 days Lent starts with the feast of Petratha (The Eve of Great Fast) and ends with the grand feast of Easter.


Lenten observance is for fasting, prayer, and charity. That gives us the opportunity to renew our lives and enrich our spiritual life.


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