Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A new beginning

Fat Tuesday has ended and Lent has begun. Many Christian religions observe Lent but do you know what it is?

Lent is the forty day period before Easter. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert and continues until Easter Sunday and the Resurrection. Some churches calculate the 40 days in different ways.

From Wikipedia:

What is Lent?

» The 40-day period is a time for Christians to reflect on their relationship with God and prepare for the holiest day of the year, Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Stemming from early church practice, the focus is typically on sorrow for sin, prayer, fasting and giving to the poor.

» Lent, which stems from an Old English word for springtime, lasts 40 days because of the biblical account of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying before beginning his ministry.

» Western Christians begin Lent on Ash Wednesday, which is Feb. 25 this year. (Sundays are not counted among the 40 days because the resurrection is celebrated each Sunday.)

» For many Christians, Lent officially ends at Easter. For Roman Catholics, it ends on the evening of Holy Thursday.

» For Orthodox Christians, the Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, which is March 2 this year, and ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday.

What’s with the ashes?

» In most mainline Christian services on Ash Wednesday, the priest or pastor imposes ashes (from burning last year’s Palm Sunday palms) in the sign of the cross on the foreheads of worshipers. The priest or pastor typically says a few words about what the ashes symbolize.

» The Bible describes believers using ashes as a symbol of repentance, and the practice stems from that.

Whatever your beliefs (or non-beliefs) happen to be, I wish you a happy Lent season. I hope that you reach any goals you may have set for yourself. God bless you.


pammie said...

i always wondered what exactly the ashes meant....interesting!

hugs sissy!

morrow said...

I have always like to concept of lent. I had an Aunt who would quit smoking every year during that time.

I missed Ash Wednesday this year.Could have used it!

I use to think the ashes meant -or was a reminder of- that we will return to ashes someday, and it was are reminder of our mortality in this life span -

not sure where I got that.

Femin Susan said...

Wow, those are such gorgeous shots!
Cheers and best wishes.

JudyBug said...

Living in LA, I grew up seeing the ashes on my friends foreheads on this day. However, I didn't know about burning the Palms from last year. Very interesting!


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