What does Lent mean?

What is Lent

Lent is the period of forty days that precedes the main celebration of Christianity : Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated on Sunday.

It has been a practice in the lives of Christians since the fourth century.

According to the Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends before the foot-washing mass on Holy Thursday.


During the forty days before Holy Week and Easter, Christians devote themselves to reflection and spiritual conversion.

They usually gather in prayer and penance to remember the 40 days spent by Jesus in the desert and the sufferings he endured on the cross.

During Lent , the Church dresses its ministers in purple robes, which symbolize sadness and grief.

On Ash Wednesday , one must remember the end of one’s own mortality.

It is customary to celebrate a mass where the faithful are marked on the forehead with ashes. This mark usually remains on the forehead until sunset.

This symbolism is part of the tradition demonstrated in the Bible , where various characters throw ashes on their heads as proof of repentance.

In the Bible, the number forty is often cited to represent periods of 40 days or 40 years that precede or mark important events.

Some examples of 40 days in the Bible are:

  • Noah’s Ark Flood;
  • Moses on Mount Sinai;
  • Jesus in the desert before the beginning of his ministry;
  • Pilgrimage of the people of Israel in the desert.

About two hundred years after the birth of Christ, Christians began to prepare for the Easter holiday with three days of prayer, meditation, and fasting.

By the year 350, the Church increased the preparation time by forty days and this is how Lent originated .

Lenten Prayer

In these days before Easter , Catholics seek a rapprochement with God, doing some kind of penance, devoting themselves to prayer, doing charitable deeds, and self-denial through fasting. .

The main message is that in these days before Easter , one must remember God’s love for his children.

Every Friday in Lent is considered holy and necessitates abstinence, and it is common not to eat meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday can be considered as one of the most important days of penance and respect for a Catholic Christian beyond Easter.

Being the first of the days of Lent that is remembered as life is fragile and subject to death.

The origin of this name comes from the mass of ashes , which is a mass where the faithful carry a mark of ashes on their foreheads with a sign of the cross, and carry it until sunset, symbolizing repentance.

Catechesis in Lent

In the catechetical period, the Church teaches the same Lenten precepts , but tries to approach it in a simpler way.

So that children can understand and participate in activities, such as penance , where the child can stop buying candy and donate that money to charity .

Lent of Saint Michael

Saint Michael’s Lent is a 40-day period that begins on August 15 and runs through September 29.

Created by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224. It is a period of fasting and prayer, inspired by the Archangel Michael .

Saint Francis of Assisi believed that Archangel Michael had the function of saving souls at the last moment and also had the ability to remove souls from purgatory.

[su_animate type=”rotateInUpRight” duration=”1.5″] Other Religious Meanings:

  • Paganism [/su_animate]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button