Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
We are beginning the season of Lent. Many people believe Lent is a season of 40 days symbolizing Jesus' time in the desert with the devil in the 1st Chapter of the Gospel of Mark. This is, in reality, is only partially accurate. In reality the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day is actually 46 days as Sundays are omitted from the days of Lent and are treated as a day of joy and an opportunity to slide off the Lenten fast, if for only one day.
According to The Episcopal Dictionary for the Church Lent is described as follows:
Early Christians observed "a season of penitence and fasting" in preparation for the Paschal feast, or Pascha (BCP, pp. 264-265). The season now known as Lent (from an Old English word meaning "spring," the time of lengthening days) has a long history. Originally, in places where Pascha was celebrated on a Sunday, the Paschal feast followed a fast of up to two days. In the third century this fast was lengthened to six days. Eventually this fast became attached to, or overlapped, another fast of forty days, in imitation of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. The forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism, and for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly. In the western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (BCP, p. 265).
Whatever your Lenten discipline is this year I pray that for each of you it will be an opportunity to find God and deeply understand how much God loves you and has done for you.
See ya Sunday!
Peace & Love,
All Saints Messenger >