Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lenten Season) is February 13. The season of Lent lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays). It ends on Easter Sunday (March 31).
The word “Lent” comes from the Middle English lente (“spring”) and from the Old English lengten (“to lengthen’), referring to the time of lengthening daylight from Christmas (around the Winter solstice) to Easter (Spring equinox). The Lenten season lasts 40 days, a time of preparation in anticipation of the great events of Good Friday and Easter.
During Lent we are encouraged to examine ourselves anew in the person and work of Jesus Christ. We follow his example and seek for forty days to wage a more earnest struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our desire in this is increased sanc- tification and growth in Christian maturity and obedience.
At the heart of any worthy Lenten observance is a cultivated attitude of repentance. True repentance means a genuine change in heart and mind, a change of disposition wherever in our lives we need to return to God. That is why true repentance and a true Lent can never be satisfied by mere external observances, no matter how rigorous they may be.
Lent is not merely a time to remember and think about the history of our Lord’s suffering and death, but is intended primarily as an opportunity for serious self-examination and repentance, even fasting (Luke 5:34-35). The high point of Lent is reached on Good Friday, when we remember that our sins led to the crucifixion of Christ.
The color for Lent is purple or violet—a rich color made with the costliest dyes in the ancient world. It appropriately symbolizes deep, heartfelt, and therefore costly repentance.
The following catechism is something I wrote for the children of the church. It's a continuation of what is posted for Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany.
Q. 21. How should we pray during Lent?
A. During Lent we confess our sins and ask God to help us change our ways.
Q 22. Why does the church call this season “Lent”?
A. Lent is an old English name for Springtime.
Q 23. Why does the season of Lent last 40 days?
A. Because in the Bible God often tests people for 40 days or years and gives them a chance to repent and change.
Q 24. What are two important examples of this time of testing in the Bible? A. Israel was tested for 40 years in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land and Jesus was tested for 40 days in the desert.
Q 25. Why does God test us?
A. God tests our faith to make us steadfast and mature Christians (James 1:2-4).
Q 26. Why did the church choose Springtime to celebrate the death and res- urrection of Jesus?
A. During Spring the days lengthen and the light and warmth begins to over- come the darkness and cold of winter. This is a fitting symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection because he brought light and life to the world.
Q 27. What does the word “Easter” mean?
A. The word “Easter” is an old word for “Springtime”
Q 28. Why is Jesus’ resurrection celebrated in the Spring?
A. Because when the cold, dark winter gives way to warmth, light, and new life in Spring this reminds us of the resurrection of Jesus.
Q. 29. Why do we use the color white for Easter?
A. The color white reminds us that Jesus’ resurrected, glorified body was pure and bright.
(Second & Third Grade)
Q 30. Why is the resurrection of Jesus so important?
A. The resurrection of Jesus means that all who trust in him will themselves be raised from the dead, publicly vindicated, and glorified at the end of history.
Q 31. Can we deny the resurrection of the dead and still be Christians?
A. No. If we deny the resurrection of Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sins and no hope for a new heavens and new earth.