According to Roman Catholic liturgy Lent is defined as a time of "Easterly penance". It is a preparation time for Easter. Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday till the start of the Eucharistic mass of Maundy Thursday. Lent is characterized by ascesis, restriction, and renunciation. Only the sundays during Lent are excluded from abstinence. In the liturgy of Lent the organ could be used only for backup of the chant and should not be played alone.