Lent is a 40-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday (February 17, 2021) and ends before the celebration of Easter (Resurrection Sunday). By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days of testing. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities. Whatever the personal sacrifice, it is a reflection of Jesus’ deprivation in the wilderness and a test of self-discipline.
However, Lent doesn’t have to be a somber time; but to be effective, it needs to be intense. It needs to be taken seriously and rigorously, and we can bring our full selves to the table. It is worth the strenuous effort, however, as we are enabled to embrace the fullness of the promise of Resurrection and live as disciples of Jesus Christ; disciples who make disciples. So, despite feeling as though we have been in a yearlong season of Lent, we need the season; we need the observance to open us to all God has in store for us. Rend your hearts, so together we can claim the promise.
The color of the season is purple which is associated with humility, willingness to repent, and mourning. The symbols are ashes, crown of thorns and the cross.