Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the Easter Triduum. It is the 40 weekday period of purification and penance with roots going back to the 4th Century. Originally, Lent focused on the growth of faith and understanding of those converting to Christianity and joining the Church community. While this is still a majorPai_C thrust of such programs as the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), Lent encourages all members of the community to examine their own development and understanding of their faith.
Lent is a time of inner examination, recognizing the parts of our lives that need more attention than perhaps we’ve become accustomed to giving them – study, prayer, fasting, alms-giving, good works, personal spirituality – and repenting those actions and inactions that have led to our current faith status. Traditionally, Lent has been associated with Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness while He prepared for his public ministry. “40″ is also a frequently used number in ancient times to refer to long periods of time. Today, we are Olsen_Rreminded of Christ’s fast by meatless Fridays during the Lenten Season and the strong suggestion that those who can should fast throughout the 40 weekdays.
The six Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of Lent although the readings focus on Jesus’ mission and ultimately His final days before His death.
For more information on this season read a brief article at this website: www.crivoice.org/cylent.html Click on the format you are interested in viewing or printing. We’ve also included a link to “The Word” column from America Magazine for each liturgy (if available). The articles are from the last Year A Cycle but are still useful and thought-provoking for your preparation efforts.
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