What is Lent?
- A season of focused attention on the life of the spirit, on the love of God and neighbor.
When is Lent?
- Lent prepares us for Easter
- It begins on Ash Wednesday and extends through six Sundays
(the last of these is Palm Sunday)
- In 2017 Ash Wednesday is March 1st
Lent is traditionally considered to be 40 days – though there are two ways to count to 40.
- Starting on the first Sunday in Lent it is 40 days until the beginning of the three day observance of the cross and resurrection that begins on the Evening of Maundy Thursday.
- Starting on Ash Wednesday and counting until Easter, but skipping the Sundays – since we should not fast on Sunday; it is a festival of the resurrection.
- Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism (when he was tempted by Satan).
- Israel journeyed 40 years through the wilderness preparing to enter the Promised Land.
- Moses fasted for 40 days on Mount Sinai to receive God’s Word in the form of the 10 Commandments.
- Elijah fasted 40 days before meeting God on Mt. Sinai.
- It rained 40 days and 40 nights to wash the earth of humanity’s sin while Noah was on the Ark.
What does the word Lent mean?
- It’s from an old English word meaning spring, since Jesus was crucified at Passover, which occurs in the spring.
- When the soldiers tortured Jesus they put a purple robe on him and a crown of thorns, mocking the hope that he was the Messiah (a king).