Er… what is lent?
Lent is a season of forty-six days. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “lencten”, which means “spring.” Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
And Ash Wednesday is…?
Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence to clean the soul before Lent. Christians use ash as a symbol of being sorry for things they have done wrong and want to get rid of forever. Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent begins, which includes fasting from food, so what better way to do this than to eat lots of food!
On Ash Wednesday, Christians are marked with ash on their foreheads as a sign of regret for the wrongs they have done against God and against others. The ashes come from the burnt leaves from Palm Sunday the previous year, the day Jesus made his triumphant entry in Jerusalem.
When does Lent end?
Lent ends on Holy Thursday, which remembers Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before his death on Good Friday.
What can I do during Lent?
Lent is a time for self-reflection, admitting your faults, and making things right with God and others. Typically, people give up something which is causing them to stumble in life, but you can also take something up!
- You can find extra time to spend with your family
- You could volunteer or think about how you are serving in your community
- You can put time aside to pray or read the Bible
- You can take up anything that focusses on growing as a spiritual person!