Lent

Season of Lent

The Lenten Season is here and it is a good time for all of us to renew ourselves by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I go to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in  Charlotte. I have always had many questions about Lent and I have got answers to many of these from an Ash Wednesday publication distributed in my church. I would like to share some of these with all of you and I am sure it will answer many of your questions about Lent.

  1. The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday for Roman Catholics, but for the Eastern Rite churches it begins on the Monday of the seventh week before Easter (and ends the Friday before Palm Sunday).
  2. Ashes are a symbol of penance. In the Old Testament times, people who were repenting of sins would fast, wear sackcloth, and sit in dust and ashes. Our use of ashes today is a small remnant of an ancient practice. The ashes are made by burning the palms remaining from the Palm Sunday liturgies of the previous year.
  3. Ashes may be given to any baptized Christian, not just Catholics. Catechumens may also receive ashes as they are part of the Church,
  4. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation but celebrating Ash Wednesday is a wonderful day to begin Lent. Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.
  5. The Season of Lent is forty days long. Now forty is a symbolic number. Jesus began his public ministry with forty days in the Desert. There are actually 44 days in Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday and ending with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The Sundays of Lent are not counted as days of Lent. Hence, the total of 44 days.
  6. Lent” literally means “springtime“. It comes from an Anglo-Saxon word that means “lengthen” – the days are getting longer. The Cross is a central symbol of the season of Lent. The liturgical color for Lent is violet or purple.
  7. The three fold discipline of Lent is prayer, fasting, and alms giving. Catholics fast and abstain from meat on Good Friday. They also abstain from meat on all Fridays of Lent. In the first century, Christians abstained from eating the meat of warm-blooded animals on Fridays to honor Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday, and we have continued the custom.
  8. Penance, along with remembering of Baptism is central to the observance of Lent. The Transfiguration Gospel on the Second Sunday of Lent anticipates Easter.
  9. St. Francis of Assisi is believed to have started the devotion of the Way of Cross in local churches. The traditional number of stations is fourteen but it has varied over the years, and today some people add a fifteenth station (Jesus’ resurrection).
  10. Lent ends at sundown on Holy Thursday before the beginning of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
  11. Holy Week begins with the celebration of Palm Sunday.
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2 thoughts on “Lent

  1. hi i had a friend asking me about Easter and i was just searching sites just to send him some thing that will help him know about Jesus and Easter. but i am really disappointed.
    Which ever site i look will have so much complication illustrating different ways in which different types of Christians believe and celebrate Easter. being a believer i found it difficult to understand things or even get an interest to read it. So when a person who is not a christian try to read our site he do not get to feel the “LOVE” or “passion” or any thing for which Jesus really stands for. The person just get confused with the different types of Christians and will never again try to read about Jesus again.

    I do appreciate this site. it has lots of prayers that i would like to refer. But please make it more than just a framework where we can get rules for different types of Christians to one where love of Christ is portrayed .

    thank you
    ann

  2. I have a similar story like Ann’s with a friend about 2 years back. She was invited to my fellowship Talk Time at my college. She said that she had been searching and searching for an answer which god to believe in, and none of them tend to make sense. Although, I know at times that sometimes they do make sense, but it would still not be enough with grasping the Truth into our hearts and mine. Anyway, she carried flyers from those different groups of believers with her, just to look over which one would make more sense to her. She found us through a friend of mine and was being invited. My group and all new comers would come together once a week to discuss our faith with one another, and sure enough, the more she came to our meeting, her searching for Truth was over, and accepted Jesus Christ.

    God is awesome!

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