The traditions of Lent

In the tradition that I have been with (two different denominations) Ash Wednesday was always an important event. It is a reminder of our human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God. Ashes are administered by the priest or pastor on the forehead of the congregant in the form of a cross. This signifies both death and repentance.

It is also the start of Lent. This is a period of 40 days of prayer fasting and support of the church. Lent ends sundown on Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) It is a time of true denial by self control over some aspects of our life. An emphasis is on prayer, meditation and fasting during this period…there are actually 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday, but Sunday’s during Lent are not considered days for this discipline. This is also a time to cone to a realization of the Spiritual Gifts God has given us and to offer them to the Church.

The Sunday before Holy Week is Palm/Passion Sunday. IT is a time to recall through reading of scripture Jesus entry into Jerusalem the week before His crucifixion. It was my custom to also have the Passion story of Christ’s last days on earth. The significant times during Holy Week are Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. It is called Maundy which is the Latin word for “command” and refers to Jesus’ command to his disciples to “love one another as I have loved you” This commemorates the Last Supper and Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples. We celebrate this meal at most churches either weekly or monthly as the Holy Communion or the Eucharist.

The next day Friday is called “Good Friday” This day marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is probably called good and may have been translated from Holy. Someone was asked about that and their answer was “how would you characterize the crucifixion” -answer is was good. Good because Christs death on the cross paid for our sins past, present and future.

Next time we will talk about the resurrection and the traditions of Easter. Thank you for reading this! Blessings to each of you this Lenten season.

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