Religious Glossary - common terms used related to Religion
Lent - In Western Christianity, Lent is the period
preceding the Christian holy day of Easter. Eastern Christianity
calls this period Great Lent, to distinguish it from the Winter
Lent or Advent that precedes Christmas (though in Greek, the
two periods are the "Great Fast" and the "Nativity Fast").
The remainder of this article will discuss Lent as it is understood
and practiced in Western Christianity, except when as noted.
In Orthodox churches, the first day of Lent marks the beginning
of The Great Fast, the final six weeks of a 10-week period
leading up to Holy Week and Easter (Pascha). In the churches
that follow the Gregorian calendar, Lent is a six-week observance
(40 days excluding Sundays) beginning with Ash Wednesday and
culminating in Holy Week. It is a time of repentance and sacrifice
in preparation for Easter. (Christianity) (Bates).
As with Advent, Lent is a season of preparation. We prepare
for the celebration of renewal in the life of faith that is
ours through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It
begins with Ash Wednesday where ashes are place on our foreheads
as a reminder of our need to repent. We are invited to enter
into Lent with a commitment to penitence, prayer, fasting,
reading and meditating on the word of God. (The