Did you know that the word “Lent” which is the name of the liturgical season which began on Ash Wednesday and extends for forty days (excluding Sundays) to Holy Saturday comes from an Old English word meaning “spring” – the time of the lengthening of days?
Lent is a penitential period and it is a time of spiritual discipline, prayer and self-denial. It is said to commemorate the period (forty days) of Jesus’s fast in the Wilderness as well as the period during which the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.
You would have noticed that the colour purple is used for the priest’s vestments as well as the altar frontals. There are perhaps two reasons for this: firstly because the colour is associated with mourning and so anticipates the pain and suffering of the crucifixion, and secondly because purple is the colour associated with royalty, and celebrates Christ’s resurrection and sovereignty.
The last week of Lent which begins on Palm Sunday is known as Holy Week. The week includes Maundy Thursday when Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist is commemorated and Good Friday which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
For some persons, it has become traditional in Lent to make certain sacrifices and to give up certain things as a sign of self-denial. It is a time of fasting. What are you giving up for Lent this year?
– John Aarons