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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. (wikipedia)

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 Redeemer).