In Milan and, I gather, throughout that whole region, Lent does not begin on Ash Wednesday as it does in most Roman Catholic and Protestant areas, but on the following Sunday.

A friend told me that the carnival continued there later than elsewhere in Italy. I initially assumed this was simply an extra-religious extension but in fact it seems they follow a different "rite", the Ambrosian rite, and Lent really is later than elsewhere.

The standard Lent consists of 46 days of which 6 are Sundays and 40 are weekdays, giving the 40 days of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve; but apparently in Milan Sundays count toward the 40.

My question is whether there are any other parts of the Roman Catholic Church, whether geographical or otherwise, in which the normal liturgical calendar does mot apply.

(By the words "standard" and "normal" I mean no more than the most usual.)

  • 1
    I believe that was partly what was debated at the synod of Whitby in the 7th century. I didn't realise that there were still some places using the "old" calculation.
    – neil
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 9:29
  • 1
    @neil - I think the calendar issue at Whitby was chiefly about the date of Easter (on which of course the other moveable feasts depend). Easter Day is the same in Milan as the rest of the Western world, but Lent starts 42 days before Easter instead of 46. I'm not sure about any other moveable feasts.
    – davidlol
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 11:10
  • Does your question include Eastern Catholic Churches?
    – K-HB
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 19:14
  • @K-HB Yes it does.
    – davidlol
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


For those who may follow the Mozarabic Rite (at least in the old form) which starts Lent on the Monday following the First Sunday of Lent. There are some priests that still use the Mozarabic Rite which is also called the Visigothic Rite or the Hispanic Rite.

Ash Wednesday (Feria quarta in capite jejunii) is an evident late Roman borrowing, rather clumsily inserted, for the Sunday that follows, though called "Dominica prima Quadragesimæ", has a Mass and an Office in which Alleluia is used, and at Vespers there is the well- known "Endless Alleluia" (Alleluia Perenne) hymn. In the Hymnal this hymn is entitled "Ymnus in carnes tollendas". The true liturgical Lent does not begin till the Monday after Ash Wednesday. - Catholic Encyclopedia

There is one small interesting note about this Rite in regards to ashes:

The Mozarabic Rite was the first to use ashes within the liturgical celebrations of the Church. Ashes were used prior to the Mozarabic Rite, but this was done outside of liturgical events, e.g., marking people for penance.

It could be noted that both the Abrosian and Mozarabic Rites had Advents that consisted of six week durations, unlike the four weeks in the rest of the Roman Rite world.

There are six Sundays of Advent, as there were in the Gallican and are now in the Ambrosian. The key day for Advent Sunday is therefore St. Martin (11 Nov.), as it is in the Ambrosian Rite, and, as according to the Council of Mâcon (581), it was in the Gallican, but Advent Sunday is that next after, not, as in the Roman, that nearest to the key day. Thus Advent Sunday may be on any day from 12 to 18 Nov. - Mozarabic Rite


For Syro Malabar Rite the lent starts on the Monday before the Ash Wedenesday. This day is called Clean Monday . In general Eastern Catholic Churches have Lent starting on Clean Monday.

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