Lent FAQ with Joe Paprocki – A Short Video

With Ash Wednesday being only two weeks from tomorrow, I thought that now would be a good time to offer you a brief video titled Lent FAQ with Joe Paprocki. It includes some simple answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the Lenten season.

  • Why do we have a season of Lent?
  • Why is Lent 40 days?
  • Why do we start Lent by wearing ashes?
  • Why do we practice prayer, fasting, and giving alms during Lent?
  • Why do we give things up during Lent?
  • Why do we give up meat on Fridays during Lent?
  • Why is purple the color of Lent?
  • Why do we pray the Stations of the Cross during Lent?
  • Is Lent a sad or somber time?

By all means, please pass along the link to this video to your fellow catechists and to anyone associated with your religious education program (the kids, the parents, etc.)

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Hi Joe,
    I would love to pass on the link to this video to RE families and catechists – but I don’t see the link. Am I missing it?

    By the way, your blog is certainly one of my favorites for resourcing catechists! Thank you!!

    • Hi Ruth. Good question. There are 2 schools of thought. One is that you count from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday which is 46 days,minus the 6 Sundays of Lent because Sundays are not to be days of penance. The problem with this is that Lent ends on Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper! The other school of thought is that, while Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the “counting” begins with the First Sunday of Lent and continues until Holy Thursday, thus 40 days. This leaves Ash Wednesday and the 3 days that follow as sort of a “front porch” for the 40 days of Lent. It’s important to remember that the number 40 is a symbolic number – representing a significant amount of time during which one’s faith is tested and strengthened. We’re not supposed to get too scientific about the counting of the days but rather to get into the spirit of this significant season of preparation for Easter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.