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When Does Lent Start?

Find the date when Lent begins in this and future years


Pope Benedict XVI receives ashes at an Ash Wednesday 2011 Mass, Basilica of Santa Sabina, Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI receives ashes during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina, Rome, Italy, March 9, 2011.

(Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Question: Lent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the greatest Christian mystery, the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a 40-day period marked by prayer, fasting and abstinence, and almsgiving. When does Lent start?

Answer: Since Easter Sunday is a moveable feast (see How is the Date of Easter Calculated?), Lent, too, begins on a different date each year. Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Western calendar, falls 46 days before Easter Sunday. (See How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated? for more details.) For Eastern Catholics, Lent begins on Clean Monday, two days before Ash Wednesday.

You can find the date of Ash Wednesday for each year at the following links:

 When Is Ash Wednesday 2014?
 When Is Ash Wednesday 2015?
 When Is Ash Wednesday 2016?
 When Is Ash Wednesday 2017?
 When Is Ash Wednesday 2018?
 When Is Ash Wednesday 2019?
Related FAQs on Ash Wednesday:
 How Is the Date of Ash Wednesday Calculated?
 What Determines the Date of Ash Wednesday?
 When Does Lent Start?
 How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated?
 How Is the Date of Easter Calculated?
 When Is Easter?
More FAQs on Ash Wednesday
 Is Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?
 Can Catholics Eat Meat on Ash Wednesday?
 Should Catholics Keep Their Ashes on All Day on Ash Wednesday?

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