Posted on Tue, Jan 16, 2018
CLICK to learn about Lent and what you might do this year
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. 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 by Satan.
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. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
Lent is a very personal time for individuals, so very few official guidelines exist on how individuals should observe Lent. Some choose to give up a certain food, however a spirit of fasting can include restriction of luxuries such as television watching, shopping and spending time on the computer.
We could give away clothing or simple possessions to those in need
We could give our time by volunteering at church, the local hospital or nursing home or shelter
We could pray more often with our children or grand children and with other family members to teach them about, and make them more comfortable with the act of praying.
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