by Katte Lubega, Malcolm Verrilli, Bryce Yao
2/18/15: Ash Wednesday to 4/4/15: Holy Saturday
The Story of Lent
Lent is a 40 day fast, not on Sunday's, replicating Jesus Christ fasting in the wilderness. During Lent people give up something in preparation of Easter. Lent is meant to prepare people for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Easter. Some give up smoking, cursing, and chewing gum. Some people would give up anything if it prepares them for Easter. It is said people can relive the mystery with only a purified mind and heart. The purpose is to provide that purification by removing people from sinning and selfishness through prayer, and doing God’s will. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten which means spring. The forty days of abstinence was borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess… this seems to have been a copy to the annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz. Tammuz was the false messiah of the Babylonians, a satanic counterfeit of Jesus Christ.
A priest places blessed ashes in the form of the cross on this woman's forehead for Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. This is to remind her of mortality, sorrow for sins, change, and forgiveness.
A reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in the Philippines. The Roman Catholic Church looks down upon this ritual, but the Filipinos see it as a show of faith.
The Rituals of Lent
Lent prepares christians for Easter and is a time of voluntary self-punishment for sinners. Traditionally, during the 40 day fast Christians may eat one small meal in the evening, but they cannot eat any meat, fish, eggs or butter during the fast. Christians also were not allowed to use wine, oil, or dairy products during the fast. As time went by, Lent fasting rules evolved. A smaller meal was allowed during the day to keep up one’s strength. Eating fish was allowed, and later eating meat was too, except on Ash Wednesday and Friday. The rules of no dairy were relaxed and eventually that was lost. During the first few days of Lent, sinners had to wear sackcloths ( rough pieces of fabric woven with flax or hemp) and were sprinkled with ashes to prepare for restoration. This ritual died out in about the 9 century. The last week is devoted to the Lord’s passion. Special ceremonies are held in The Church of Jerusalem, including the Palm Sunday procession and the Good Friday veneration of the cross.
Did You Know?
"History of Lent." History of Lent. Web. 24 Nov. 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>."church year." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/105946#67668.toc>.