I was taught that Lent represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. However, in church on Ash Wednesday, my Priest stated that it used to be 3 days and was extended to 40. I can only assume that the 3 days were the time Jesus was entombed. Was Lent ever 3 days? Was this official doctrine? And if so, when and why was it changed?
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From CatholicEducation.com's history of Lent:
So, I suppose that the answer is that there is evidence that it was 3 days some places, but this was never official policy of the Church Universal.
As a note: the length of Lent is not a doctrine, but a practice. While it is EXTREMELY doubtful that the length will ever change, it is theoretically possible for the Vatican to make some pronouncement changing it.