Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). Click here to read Pope Francis’ 2017 Lenten Message.


Fast and abstinence

The Church prescribes fasting (only one full meal and two smaller meals which together are not greater than a full meal) and abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Catholics aged 18-59 are bound to fast; those 14 and older to abstinence. Those who are ill are freed from these obligations. Everyone, even those above the age of 59, are encouraged to fast and abstain. Parents and educators are reminded of their duty to introduce children gradually to the understanding and practice of penance.

S.29 of Canada’s liturgical calendar, the Ordo, specifies that Fridays are special days of abstinence. This includes Fridays of Lent, although Catholics can substitute special acts of charity or piety on these days.

Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on March 1. Check out the Mass Times at parishes in the Archdiocese here.

Share Lent Campaign

Each year during Lent, Canadian Catholics are invited to stand in solidarity with communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East who are struggling for dignity and justice.

This Lent, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is focusing on Women at the Heart of Change. Women are central actors in creating positive change in their communities, yet they often face difficulties because they are not treated equally.  Learn, Pray and Act in solidarity with women throughout Lent!

Click here to learn more about the Share Lent Campaign.

Lenten Prayer

Lord, with your loving care guide the penance we have begun.  Help us to persevere with love and sincerity.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.



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