This year, the six week period of Lent starts on Wednesday 6th March. It is the time leading up to Easter and is one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world.
It is seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent is traditionally a time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence as Christians prepare their hearts and minds ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death and bodily resurrection.
The exact date that Lent falls each year changes and is always 46 days (40 fasting days and 6 Sundays) before Easter Sunday starting on Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday follows Shrove Tuesday, which we more commonly known as Pancake Tuesday. Shrove originally comes from the word shrive (meaning “absolve”) and Shrove Tuesday was the day that any food items to be given up during the period of Lent were used up. Traditionally this included meat, fish, eggs, fats, milk and sugar – so Shrove Tuesday became the final ‘feats’ before Lent began! That’s why in some parts of the world it is known as Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’, in recognition of the feast before the famine, as it were.
Many Christians will use Lent to study their Bibles and pray more and we will do that too during our weekly house group which meets on Wednesdays at 2.00pm at the home of Sue Jones (once a month we meet at church following lunch on the second Wednesday).
This year we will be looking at ‘Words from Calvary’ which focusses on the sayings of Jesus from the cross. The themes covered will be: The freedom of forgiveness, The hope of Heaven, Compassionate care, Forsaken, not abandoned, The divine thirst and The final consummation.
I hope you will consider joining us and if you would like further information then please contact Sue Jones or myself.