Lent is a religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts six weeks, ending before Easter Sunday. Lent is observed in the Methodist, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican churches, as well as in some Anabaptist and Evangelical churches. The forty days signify the period spent by Jesus in the desert, during which he was tempted by Satan.
History of Lent
The history of Lenten preparation in the church can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Lent was not formalized until 313 AD, when Christianity was legalized. In 373 AD, Saint Athanasius invited his congregation to observe a fast of 40 before the most serious fasting of Holy Week in its “festive letters”. Lent had been firmly established at the end of the 4th century and fasting and prayer were considered its main spiritual practices. The number 40 had always meant something for spiritual preparation. For example, in the Bible Moses resided on the mountain. For 40 days I waited for the Lord to deliver the ten commandments. The rules surrounding Lent were later developed. One of the regulations was fasting continued for six days in a week for six weeks. Christians have been instructed to enjoy a meal in one day, at 3 pm or in the evening. However, the regulations of Lent have changed over time. For example, although most churches have not authorized meat, they have since been hugged all week except for ash and ash Wednesday.
Practices during Lent
The days of Lent are characterized by fasting on the part of believers from food and parties. The three classical traditions are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. There are 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, but fasting is not observed on Sundays, thus excluding the six Sundays of Lent. Christians pray not only for themselves but also for other communities during this season. Believers also give up certain things or practices. A person can fast from social media, alcohol, snacks or other vices. The practice of fasting is intended to remind Christians that whatever they possess is a blessing from God and making them aware of those who may not have the same ones. Almsgiving denotes service, and requires Christians to pay attention to call of Christ to serve their neighbors. Some Christians have adopted the practice of channeling their money into charitable organizations in modern times.
Information on Lent
There are many holy days during Lent. Ash Wednesday is recognized as the first day of Lent in the Roman rite, as well as in the traditions of almost all the major Reformed and Protestant denominations. However, Ash Wednesday is not observed in the Mozarabic rite and in the Ambrosian rite. The fourth Sunday of the season is called Laetare Sunday by many Christians, including Catholics and Anglicans. This Sunday is also referred to as Mothers’ Sunday or Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, and its origin can be traced back to a celebration of the Mother Church in the 16th century. The fifth Sunday of Lent is called Sunday of the passion by some denominations and indicates the beginning of the Passion. The sixth Sunday is celebrated on Palm Sunday and represents the beginning of Holy Week. Other holy days include Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
The priests in the Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic denominations wear purple vestments during Lent. Pink vestments can be worn instead of purple on Lenten’s fourth Sunday. The priests of a section of the Anglican Churches wear a kind of unbleached linen called “Lenten array” in the first three weeks of the season, the crimson is adorned during Passionthide, and on holidays the color suitable for the day is worn.