Everything You Need To Know About Lent

For many centuries, the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday has been a time period of sacrifice, self-discipline, and prayer for Christians and Catholics in Western churches everywhere. The 40 days of fasting and prayer is called Lent. Everyone who participates in Lent tends to have their head marked by ash which is symbolic of the dust God created humans from. This symbolic act allows the world to be made aware of the decision you’ve made to fast and pray during this season and ultimately led the church to create the title of Ash Wednesday. The ashes used are made out of palm leaves. That is significant because prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, palm leaves were used to greet him with praise and celebration as he arrived in Jerusalem. That day is called Palm Sunday which is on April 5th.

Lent requires the people observing it give up something they deem as valuable as they reflect on what Jesus Christ did in the wilderness as recorded in the Bible. In the 5th to 9th centuries that meant giving up food which is a necessity for all and luxury to some. They would only partake in one meal per day and that meal would not have any meat or fish in it. That method was established strictly as a tradition for many centuries. As time has progressed, the church has loosened its grip on the tradition. Now, food is just one of many options you can choose to sacrifice for roughly six and a half weeks. Some people give up fast food, caffeine, social media, or television. Anything that holds significant weight in your life applies to lent now. In addition to giving up something you enjoy, some people also choose to do a good deed as well. Whether it is donating to a charity or giving up your time to help out your community in any fashion, these are voluntary good deeds that many people do during lent.

Ash Wednesday

This year Ash Wednesday is on February 26th. The date changes every year but Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday which is six and a half weeks before Easter and ends on Holy Saturday.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is on April 11th. It is always in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Holy Saturday is significant because it celebrates the vigil that Christ’s followers held for him outside of his tomb, waiting for his resurrection.

Good Friday

Good Friday is on April 10th. Good Friday is the day where Jesus’ death is remembered and reflected on by everyone. He was crucified by Roman soldiers. Even though that may sound terribly sad, the day is called Good Friday because it is believed that his death provided mankind with the opportunity for their sins to be forgiven.  His sacrifice through death has given the entire world the choice to be in good standing with God. This good news applies to anyone who believes it is true.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is on April 12th. This day is celebrated because it is remembered as the day that Jesus rose up from the dead after being crucified.

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