Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Day.
Lent does not actually appear in the Bible. It is a tradition which has grown up over the years. The word “lent” comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a traditionally 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 relation ship with God, sometimes choosing to give up something.
Why do we do that?
It is a good time to make sure we are not in the grip of bad habits. Some of these habits are ok in moderation but can cause a lot of sorrow if taken too far“. “Dry January” is the secular version of this. Christians have been known to try living throughout Lent without alcohol, chocolate, Facebook, or their smart-phone. And, to their amazement, they survived. The beginning of Lent is known as Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches distributed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday. They are then drawn in the form of a cross on the foreheads of worshippers with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. (Funny how easily we forget that.)
We tend not to do that so much in churches like ours. But we still keep the name. Ash Wednesday will be March 1 and there will be a service here in church at 7:45 pm.