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The Sunday rule: breaking your Lenten promise

Abbey Alexander '19

Abbey Alexander, Faith In Action Editor

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Ahh, Lent. The season is upon us. It’s a period that seems to trudge on for way more than 40 days. We wait and wait and count down the days until it’s over, but once Easter comes we are rewarded with an unparalleled satisfaction, and an excuse to give ourselves a little pat on the back.

Everyday during the season, Catholics fight through cravings, chocolate withdrawals, and the urge to re-download that social media app that they gave up. Despite the struggle, they persevere. It’s an admirable feat, and it’s something that brings Catholics together as a community.

Despite this, there seems to be one thing that divides the community during the Lenten season.

Can we break our Lenten promise on Sundays?

It’s a question I’ve asked nearly every person I know, and the answers seem to be split right down the middle. Personally, I’ve grown up with no concept of cheating on lent. My parents don’t, my grandparents don’t, and honestly I didn’t even hear about the concept until just a couple years ago. However, this didn’t exactly stop me from taking advantage of “The Sunday Rule” once I learned about it. I got quite a strange looks from my mom when I told her that it was Sunday, so I could skip my “no Dutch Bros” promise.

So, am I crazy? Am I the ONLY one who never knew about the chance to break your promise on Sundays.

Turns out the answer is no.

I furthered my search for people’s thoughts on the Sunday rule and gathered a myriad of opinions.

First up was Freshman Annabelle Goettl, who enlightened me on which side of the debate she was on. “I think of it as a ‘Sunday Funday’ kind of thing, and I don’t want to be sad on Sunday Funday,” said Goettl. “I think that the day is supposed to be focused on Jesus, and if I spend the whole day thinking about my Lenten promise then it kind of defeats the purpose”.

The next person I asked to weigh in on the issue was Maddie Wickers, a Sophomore here at Xavier.

“I try not to cheat on Sundays, but sometimes it just happens. I make it a point not to, but if I do, I don’t feel as bad as if I’m breaking my promise any other day of the week’. Wickers added, “I didn’t grow up being allowed to cheat on Sundays, but the fact that all my friends do kind of influenced me”.

So, there you have it, folks. Am I crazy for trying not to cheat on Sundays? You can decide that. But despite the debate of the Sunday rule, Lent is a wonderful season to celebrate unity, sacrifice, and at the end of it all, the sweet relief of making it through those forty days.

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The Sunday rule: breaking your Lenten promise