What is Lent?

palmOur seasonal observance of the journey of Jesus from teacher to sacrificial lamb is called Lent. The color for Lent is purple — symbolic of royalty.  The soldiers mocked Jesus as the King of the Jews and put a purple robe on him and crowned him with thorns.  Mark 15:17, “They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.”

The word “Lent” means, literally, springtime, or lengthening of the days. Lent is 40 days long (not counting Sundays, which are always feast days in honor of the Resurrection) The number 40 is used in the Bible in several places.  It reminds us of the of the 40 days of rain Noah endured, the 40 years Israel wandered in the desert, the 40 days Jesus was tested in the wilderness after his baptism and, some say, the 40 hours between when Jesus died and His Resurrection.

ash-weds1Lent begins with the ashes of Ash Wednesday where we remember that our earthly lives, no matter how long, began from the elements of the earth and will someday return to them.  We are creatures

Liturgies during Lent are penitential offering us a time to look at the flaws of our humanity in comparison with the divine and perfect nature of God, and remind us of our need for Jesus’ work on the cross.  If you cannot make it to Stations in person, visit the page on Resources for Keeping a Holy Lent.