Lent is a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a period of 40 days of repentance, with prayer, fasting and abstinence, and Confession.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. (For an explanation why Lent begins 46 days before Easter but is only 40 days long, see How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated?) For Eastern Rite Catholics, Lent begins two days earlier, on Clean Monday. The following is a list of the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Lent 2012.
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- Clean Monday (Monday, February 20, 2012)
- Ash Wednesday (Wednesday, February 22, 2012)
- First Sunday of Lent (Sunday, February 26, 2012)
- Second Sunday of Lent (Sunday, March 4, 2012)
- Third Sunday of Lent (Sunday, March 11, 2012)
- Feast of Saint Patrick (Saturday, March 17, 2012)
- Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) (Sunday, March 18, 2012)
- Feast of Saint Joseph (Monday, March 19, 2012)
- Fifth Sunday of Lent (Passion Sunday) (Sunday, March 25, 2012)
- Palm Sunday (Sunday, April 1, 2012)
- Holy Thursday (Thursday, April 5, 2012)
- Good Friday (Friday, April 6, 2012)
- Holy Saturday (Saturday, April 7, 2012)
- Easter (Sunday, April 8, 2012)