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Make this Lent memorable.
Check out these 40 creative ideas for Lenten penances.

Lent at Duke

Our Lenten Program at Duke this year will focus our attention the theme of Sacrifice through the three traditional pillars of Lent:  Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving.  All of these are a sacrifice on our part, and so we will be remembering these pillars with rubber bracelets that we will give out at Mass to help remind us to sacrifice in these three areas.  You are asked to do some form of sacrifice in each of these three areas.  Do them all, or select one from each.  We hope this will enhance your Lenten journey and preparation for Easter.


Bible Study

  • Sacrifice one hour a week and join a Bible Study Group for the 6 weeks of Lent!
  • Sign up for a small group by emailing Evan Wescott.


  • In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we can sacrifice our pride and place ourselves in the mercy of a God who loves us deeply.
  • Every Wednesday 9-10pm (Goodson Chapel) and every Thursday 12:15pm (Duke Chapel Basement)
  • By appointment with Fr. Mike or Fr. Brad
  • Lenten Penance Service – Wednesday, April 5th at 7pm in Goodson Chapel with visiting priests
  • NOTE: Confessions will not be heard Thursday through Saturday of Holy Week.

Daily Mass

  • Consider sacrificing your lunch time and going to Daily Mass once a week (or more!) for Lent at one of the following times:
    • Monday 12pm, Memorial Chapel in Duke Chapel
    • Tuesday 5:45pm, FA House Chapel
    • Wednesday 12pm, Memorial Chapel in Duke Chapel
    • Thursday 11:30am, Yoh Football Building 2nd Floor Meeting Room


Norms for Fasting & Abstinence

Ash Wednesday, March 1st, and Good Friday, April 14th are days of fasting and abstinence. Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence.

Fasting is to be observed by all 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.

Abstinence is to be observed by all 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence, no meat is allowed. Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, Church law does not oblige.

Giving Up Something

So many of us have grown up being told to give up something for Lent, and so we gave up candy or soda, or some other non-essential food item.  While this practice can be helpful, make sure it is not some mindless practice that is more about feeling good that you gave it up. Need some fresh ideas for a Lenten penance that will help point you to God instead of just building “healthy habits”? Click here to check out 40 for 40: Creative Inspirations for Lent!


Operation Rice Bowl & Lenten Calendar

Sacrificing financially is hard. Trust us, we get it. If you’ve never successfully participated in Lenten almsgiving, one simple way to begin is with looking over your credit card (or even FoodPoints) summary. Find all the purchases of coffee, treats, and other non-essential items. Total them up to find a rough estimate of your weekly discretionary spending and match that amount as a gift for the poor each week.

Not sure what cause to donate it to? Utilize the Operation Rice Bowl bank for your  weekly donation or bring your donation by Catholic Charities (3711 University Dr, Durham, NC 27707).

If you do use your Rice Bowl, please bring it with you to the Holy Thursday Service, or any time during Holy Week to the Catholic Center.  Your money will go to Catholic Relief Services to support their mission to fight world hunger.