Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. The 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. The word Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning Spring.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Each Sunday in Lent represents a mini-Easter so the Sundays are not counted as part of the 40 days.
Resource UMC, United Methodist Communication's website of resources for church leaders, has a variety of Lenten resources and information to use and share.
General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) presents the Lenten resource, Roll Down, Justice!, a six-part series based on the collection of social justice hymns recently published by Mark Miller of Drew University School of Theology. The series also includes a study guide written by Dr. Faye Wilson.
When Lent begins, many United Methodist pastors invite their congregations “to observe a holy Lent: by self–examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self–denial; and by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word” (from the United Methodist Book of Worship). How? There is no one prescribed way. Learn more.
Chuck explains the meaning of the events of the week between Palm Sunday and Easter.