Lent has 40 days. So we were told.
I was brought up in a very Catholic family, Mass every Sunday, no meat on Fridays and Lent we were told were days of fast and abstinence.
Each year it was a matter of what are you giving up for Lent. Chocolate was a popular one. We used to receive these little moneyboxes called Project Compassion into which we placed all the small change we generated throughout the Lenten period.
Lent finished with Easter. I never liked Easter much as it was a series of Church goings that drove me crazy. The Sunday before Easter was Palm Sunday. This necessitated the reading of the passion of Christ, which was long, and you had to stand for it.
The following Thursday was Holy Thursday, an evening Mass where the priest washed the feet of twelve parishioners as at the Last Supper.
Friday was the Adoration of the Cross, another long event during which the passion was read again. Though in later years I did take over my church’s ceremony in that I had the passion read in parts, a Christ carrying a cross, one my dad made for me, and on one occasion I had the guy carrying the cross fall down in the middle of the church. Though my days were numbered when the conservative right wing branch of the parish frowned on me when I had the priest sit out the reading of Christ’s part in the passion, I had another guy do it much to the pleasure of the then Parish Priest who was happy to be given a break from it.
Saturday night was another Easter ceremony, with burning fire and candles. At least the Saturday service was the final one for Lent and Easter freeing us up for Easter Sunday and the Easter bunny.
So the 40 days of Lent and Easter were over. After we embraced the chocolate delivered by the pagan Easter bunny though in my house the no meat Fridays continued.
In was in much later life that I heard a better saying for the 40 days of Lent. Instead of what I was giving up for Lent, I was told it was better to say: What am I doing for Lent.
Though by then I had fallen by the wayside regarding my religious practice.