Lent is perhaps one of the most important celebrations in the Catholic religion. Throughout the month of March, countless Catholics across the world take part in this global observance for six weeks between the dates of Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
But what is Lent and why do people celebrate it to begin with? Before you sit in your comfortable church pews in observance of this event, let’s talk about the history of Lent.
The History of Lent
Lent is a 40-day religious observance beginning in the month of March in order to prepare for Easter, the holiday which observes the resurrection of Jesus. The event lasts 40 days (excluding the Sundays leading up to Easter) in order to honor the 40 days Jesus spent resisting the temptation of Satan in order to become a minister. The 40-day observance is also important to a number of events which occur in the Bible, including the flood in Genesis which lasted for 40 days and nights and the 40 days Moses fasted before receiving the 10 commandments. It isn’t uncommon for churches to buy church pews in preparation for this event.
In order to welcome Easter, many Catholic sects including Anglicans, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox members, Lutherans, Methodists, and Catholics all take part in this religious observance.
Some of the primary ways to observe this event include:
Denial of ego
The observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. There are a number of important days which are honored during this period. For example, the Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday which kicks off the Holy Week while the Friday before Easter, known as Good Friday, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
What are some modern cultural traditions of Lent?
During the 40 days of Lent, many Catholics sects will embrace aspects of self-examinations and reflection in an effort to better themselves and their communities. Some choose to fast while others give up a luxury they experience regularly. This looks different from person to person, but it’s supposed to be a luxury that the person has trouble living without as an act of self-sacrifice and reflection.
There are three primary actions taken by those celebrating Lent: prayer, which represents justice toward God, fasting, which represents justice toward the self, and almsgiving, which represents justice for neighbors.
As such, countless Catholics will attend church and sit in countless church pews during this celebration. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to see more worshipers than usual settled in your church pews to receive their mark of ashes. After all, more than 40% of Americans claim that religion is an important aspect of their lives. Make sure your church is in tip-top condition for the rest of Lent by relying on Kivett’s for all of your church steeple repair, antique church pews, and church furniture. Happy Lent!