Lent

Erika Burnham and Jasmine Mangat

Dates of Lent 2015

Western Churches: Begins on Ash Wednesday on February 18, 2015 to the end of Easter Sunday on April 5th.

Eastern Churches: Begins on Clean Monday on the date of February 23, 2015. It ends on the Friday nine days before Easter on March 27, 2015.

The Story of Lent

The Christian season Lent is a period in which the followers of the religion fast. The word “Lent” itself comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, meaning “spring”. This season imitates Jesus Christ’s forty-day fast in the desert. During Jesus’s fast, Satan tried to tempt Jesus using three trials. In the first trial Satan suggested to Jesus that he should use his powers to turn the rocks that are found in the desert into bread. Jesus resisted the temptation after many days with no food. In the second trial the Satan tells Jesus that he could have every single kingdom on the planet if Jesus gave into praying to the Devil instead of God. Even with the opportunity to have the most political power possible Jesus turned the offer away. In the final trial Satan takes Jesus to the highest point on a temple in the holy city and tells him the jump off of it. The Devil claimed that according to the Pslam, God will protect Jesus if he trusts him. Jesus resisted Satan yet again knowing that if he jumped he would be distrusting God. When people participate in Lent it is to reenact resisting temptation from Satan. Lent itself is not in the Bible, and is therefore not required. It started in ancient Babylon, where it represented the death and resurrection of Tammuz-a Babylonian goddess. But the goddess was thought to be the false Messiah of the Babylonians. The true Messiah was thought to be Jesus instead.

Rituals of Lent

The rituals that are performed in the season of Lent can be modified for different people and churches. On the first day of Lent, which for many Christians is Ash Wednesday, followers mark their foreheads with ash. This is done to represent hardship and grief for the sins done by fellow Christians. One of the main rituals done by followers in Lent is giving up a certain addiction or action that they withhold. These sacrifices can go from giving up smoking, drinking, or giving up certain foods, thus performing a traditional fast. Another ritual includes Christians taking up a new activity. This new hobby can include volunteer work or simply doing prayer on a regular basis. On the topic of prayer, participants of Lent take part in a certain worshiping custom that can be add on to regular worship. This includes an increased amount of prayer and reading of the Scripture or Bible. An example of one of these worships includes the Fourteen Stations of the Cross. These stations are paintings, statues, carvings, or even actors that portray moments in Jesus’s life in Roman Catholic churches. The art is used for prayer and rumination throughout Lent as a show of faithfulness to Christianity. Lent is a time to think, mourn, and ask for forgiveness. It is a time when devoted Christians get their mind and body ready to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and have the chance to rethink their lives and start on a new path.

Did you know?

The color purple a significant in the special occasion of Lent due to the grieving and anguish during Jesus Christ's crucifixion, along with purple showing royalty, which represents Jesus’s rebirth and dominance.
Lent Cartoon Jesus in the Desert
The video above shows illustrations of the hardships Jesus Christ may have faced during his fast. This video shows not only the hunger and thirst Jesus faced, but also the challenges of temptation and self-control during his forty-day fast in the desert.

Work Cited

"History of Lent." History of Lent. Web. 01 Dec. 2014. <http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/history-of-lent.html>.

"The True Meaning of Lent." The True Meaning of Lent. Web. 24 Nov. 2014. <http://rcg.org/articles/ttmol.html>.

"What Is Lent? | Bible Gateway Blog." What Is Lent? | Bible Gateway Blog. Web. 25 Nov. 2014. <https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/02/what-is-lent/>.

"Ash Wednesday." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2014. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/611156>.

"9 Things You Need to Know about the Mysterious Temptation of Jesus." National Catholic Register. Web. 01 Dec. 2014. <http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-mysterious-temptation-of-jesus>.