In the Roman Rite since 1970, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Maundy Thursdayevening (before the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper). This comprises a period of 44 days. The Lenten fast excludes Sundays and continues through Good Friday and Holy Saturday, totalling 40 days (though the Eucharistic Faststill applies). Although Lent may formally end on Maundy Thursday, fasting practices continue until Holy Saturday regardless, as Lent is followed immediately by the Paschal fast leading up to Easter.
In the Ambrosian Rite, Lent begins on the Sunday that follows what is celebrated as Ash Wednesday in the rest of the Latin Catholic Church, and ends as in the Roman Rite, thus being of 40 days, counting the Sundays but not Maundy Thursday. The day for beginning the Lenten fast in the Ambrosian Rite is the Monday after Ash Wednesday. The special Ash Wednesday fast is transferred to the first Friday of the Ambrosian Lent. Until this rite was revised by Saint Charles Borromeo, the liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent was festive, celebrated in white vestmentswith chanting of the Gloria in Excelsisand Alleluia, in line with the recommendation in Matthew 6:16, “When you fast, do not look gloomy”.
During Lent, the Church discourages marriages, but couples may do so if they forgo the special blessings of the Nuptial Mass and reduced social celebrations.