The season of Lent is approaching quickly! It is an important time of preparation, repentance, and celebration. Plus, there are a lot of key dates and celebrations. However, sometimes their meaning is hard to remember or unclear!
Here’s a quick overview of the Lenten season for you to enjoy, or to send to a curious friend, family member, or fellow churchgoer!
In this post we’re diving into the origin of Lent and answering these important questions: What is Lent about? When does Lent start? And when does it end? In addition, learn more about the meaning of key dates during this Holy Season: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.
We hope this easy-to-understand overview helps you draw closer to God in this reflective season!
What is Lent about?
Lent is the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It is celebrated by most Catholic and Protestant denominations. This is a time where participants fast or give up a particular food or habit to exercise self-discipline and seek God more.
Additional time spent in prayer is also an important part of this time. It is a time set aside to focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus and repent of sinful habits. These forty days are symbolic of the time Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.
When does Lent start?
This year, Lent will begin on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022. Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday, also known as the “Day of Ashes”. The name originates from the practice of having ash drawn on one’s forehead in the shape of a cross. This day always falls on a Wednesday because every year it is exactly forty days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday. This forty day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter is what we call Lent.
The Bible doesn’t specifically mention ‘Ash Wednesday,’ but we read of people in the Old Testament who used ashes as a symbol of repentance.
Other Key Events During Lent & Easter
Shrove Tuesday is the day prior to Ash Wednesday. In many countries this is celebrated as a Christian festival before the Lenten Season begins.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem one week prior to what we now call Easter Sunday. The first day of this week Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling an ancient prophecy (Zech. 9:9). The period between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is called Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday is observed as the day before Jesus’ crucifixion. On this day Jesus shared Passover and the Last Supper with his disciples.
Good Friday is the following day where we remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus. On this day Jesus, the Son of God was required to carry his cross to “The Place of the Skull,” where he was crucified with two other prisoners. It’s called “Good” because of the meaning Jesus’ death holds—it paid for our sins!
Easter Sunday is the day the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. Early on this morning, women went to the tomb and found that the stone closing the tomb’s entrance has been rolled back. An angel told them Jesus was alive.
When does Lent end?
This year, Lent will end on Saturday, April 16th, 2022. Every year Lent ends the day prior to Easter Sunday.
Learn even more information about Lent & Easter with these incredible resources this Holy season!
What the Bible Says
Lent and Easter
by Martin Luther
Study GuideA Journey
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