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What is the meaning of the Lenten season in Christianity?

In that moment, something new in my soul began to grow. At the same time, it was, for me, a difficult time of coming to grips with my brokenness, staring at my sin and searching my heart.

The Season of Lent

This is what Lent does. It asks us to drag our full self into the light of day no matter how dark it may be.

  1. Are There 40 Days of Lent or 46 Days?.
  2. 1. 40 Days Is a Realistic Time Frame.
  3. The Story of Lent | The Children's Society?
  4. Why Lent? Why Bother?.

As we near the end of Lent, we encounter Good Friday. For centuries, the people of God mark this day by participating in the Stations of the Cross remembering the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. He was naked, beaten, bleeding, dying, nailed to an instrument of torture and death, crying for a father only to realize His dad was nowhere.

Lent and Good Friday invite us to brush up against the death of Jesus as we sort through the death in our hearts. And in that moment we ache for Easter. The difference between Easter feeling shallow and Easter meaning something is simple and painful: death. The reason the resurrection felt so shallow to me for so long was because there was never any death. And you cannot have a resurrection without a death.

  • The Story of Lent.
  • Here’s why Lent was “created”.
  • The Voice of the Prophets: Wisdom of the Ages, BUDDHISM.
  • This is why Lent is so important. It brings us face to face with our mortality and the death of Jesus. A few years ago, I, along with several pastors from Denver, joined together for a sunrise service. He is not here, he is risen! Ash Wednesday, Lent and Good Friday teach us the resurrection is something we desperately need—for our broken selves and our broken world. See Reflections on Ash Wednesday.

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    Ash Wednesday is a somber day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christian. In the early church, ashes were not offered to everyone but were only used to mark the forehead of worshippers who had made public confession of sin and sought to be restored to the fellowship of the community at the Easter celebration. However, over the years others began to show their humility and identification with the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the imposition of ashes was extended to the whole congregation in services similar to those that are now observed in many Christian churches on Ash Wednesday.

    The color used in the sanctuary for most of Lent is purple, red violet, or dark violet see Colors of the Church Year. These colors symbolize both the pain and suffering leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus as well as the suffering of humanity and the world under sin. But purple is also the color of royalty, and so anticipates through the suffering and death of Jesus the coming resurrection and hope of newness that will be celebrated in the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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    • Some church traditions use grey for Ash Wednesday or for the entire season of Lent, or for special days of fasting and prayer. Gray is the color of ashes, and therefore a biblical symbol of mourning and repentance. The decorations for the sanctuary during Lent should reflect this mood of penitence and reflection. Some Anglican churches use unbleached muslin, which can range from white to beige, with accents in red or black for Lent to symbolize this same spirit of penitence.

      Some churches avoid the use of any flowers in the sanctuary during Lent, using various dried arrangements.

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      This can be especially effective if a flowering cross is used for Easter. Other churches use arrangements of rocks or symbols associated with the Gospel readings for the six Sundays in Lent see The Symbols of Lent. In the midst of the more somber tone of penitence during Lent, this Sunday anticipates the resurrection of Jesus, a day of hope in light of the coming Easter Sunday. As such, it parallels the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday gow-DAY-tey , with the theme of celebration for the immanent work of God in the world.

      In traditions that observe Laetere Sunday, Rose is used as a sanctuary color for that Sunday, a lightening of the purple of Advent with the white of celebration. Some church traditions change the sanctuary colors to red for Maundy Thursday , a symbol of the disciples and through them the community of the church. Since Eucharist or communion is often observed on Maundy Thursday in the context of Passover, the emphasis is on the gathered community in the presence of Jesus the Christ.

      Traditionally, the sanctuary colors of Good Friday and Holy Saturday are black, the only days of the Church Year that black is used. It symbolizes the darkness brought into the world by sin. It also symbolizes death, not only the death of Jesus but the death of the whole world under the burden of sin. In this sense, it also represents the hopelessness and the endings that come as human beings try to make their own way in the world without God see The Days of Holy Week.

      Black is always replaced by white before sunrise of Easter Sunday. There are many ways for a congregation to mark the journey of Lent. During Lent, one of the most effective visual reminders of the season that can be expanded in many variations is to use a rough wooden cross as a focal point in the sanctuary.

      Are There 40 Days of Lent or 46 Days? – St. John the Evangelist Catholic Parish

      The type of cross and how it is constructed will depend on exactly how it will be used. The cross is usually erected in the Sanctuary on Ash Wednesday as a visible symbol of the beginning of Lent. It is usually draped in black on Good Friday. The same cross can also become a part of the congregation's Easter celebration as it is then draped in white or gold, or covered with flowers see The Flowering Cross. Responsive readings associated with various symbols of Lent placed on the cross each Sunday in Lent can provide a structure for penitential prayers during this season see The Symbols of Lent.

      Another effective way to make use of the cross is to use it as a Prayer Cross during Lent. Dear Parish Family,.

      What gives? Well, in the colorful history of this penitential season, there are three points that help us resolve the question: 1 The season of Lent used to begin on the First Sunday of Lent. Multiply 7 days times 6 weeks, you get 42 days until Easter Sunday. So that meant only 34 actual days of fasting.