Lent and it's importance for our spiritual growth

greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Lent began on Ash wednesday Mar. 5, 2003. And it is an important time in the church. In my church we are doing special bible studies, and also having discussions on what it means to be a christian, we will look at peace and justice issues. And our focus will be on racism. I have asked my congregation to give up FEAR for lent. To look at the things in their lives that prevent them from stepping boldly into an abundant filled life with Christ, by doing this we are also looking at sin. Below is some information on Lent and how it is celebrated in churches. What are you or your church doing for Lent and are you giving up something during this time?

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 5 March 2003 and ends on 19 April 2003. In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on 17 April (Holy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Colors: In most churches, the decorations are purple or blue, royal colors to prepare for the King. You can read more about color in worship The East: In Orthodox churches, this season is called the Great Lent. It begins on Clean Monday. Special Days: Ash Wednesday, 5 March 2003 The Annunciation, 25 March 2003


Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.

You can read about fasting, which is a spiritual discipline that does not involve starvation or dehydration. You can also read Honest to God for an explanation of what we accomplish by observing Lent.

You can find out about Lenten fasting during medieval times. The link even includes a very interesting recipe!

The Western Church Because Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, we skip over Sundays when we calculate the length of Lent. Therefore, in the Western Church, Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter.

In many countries, the last day before Lent (called Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, or Fasching) has become a last fling before the solemnity of Lent. For centuries, it was customary to fast by abstaining from meat during Lent, which is why some people call the festival Carnival, which is Latin for farewell to meat.

The Eastern Church The Eastern Church does not skip over Sundays when calculating the length of the Great Lent. Therefore, the Great Lent always begins on Clean Monday, the seventh Monday before Easter, and ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday—using of course the eastern date for Easter. The Lenten fast is relaxed on the weekends in honor of the Sabbath (Saturday) and the Resurrection (Sunday). The Great Lent is followed by Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday, which are feast days, then the Lenten fast resumes on Monday of Holy Week. Technically, in the Eastern Church, Holy Week is a separate season from the Great Lent.

Special Days The purpose of the liturgical calendar is to relive the major events in Jesus’ life in real time, which is why Lent is forty days long. If Jesus were born on 25 December, then His conception would have been nine months earlier, on about 25 March. That is when the angel Gabriel would have announced Jesus’ birth to Mary. Thus 25 March is known in the historic church as The Annunciation.

Roughly speaking, the western Church consists of Protestants, Catholics, and Anglicans. The eastern Church consists of the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the eastern-rite churches affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2003


The above info regarding the historical information was taken from "ken's webpage" and has some other interesting links. That webpage address is http://www.kencollins.com/holy-04.htm Enjoy

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2003

The info is very useful. We had a morning service on Ash Wednesday and the evening. It was the first time for many and it was so powerful.The congregants came to the alter after the message and said "I lay down my sinful nature and take up the word as the only truth" Everyone left the service in awe of the powerful presence of God in the place. Our theme was Leave behind the past and stretch out to the future. people usually give up food but we need to give up the "stuff" that hold us back in having a more intimate relationship with God.We agreed to fast and abstain from beef ect. but also to abstain from jealosies, hatred, quarrelling ect.

God is in the House.Halleluja

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2003

My wonderful sister Rev. Higgins God is always in your house!! I agree with you about giving up "stuff" and in my church we are giving up fear. Since Lent is a time to draw closer to God and focus on christian discipline, this seems appropiate. If you have any special lenten reading please share with us. I am so happy to hear of the response your congregation had on ash wednesday. God bless!!

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ