Why Do Christians Wear A Cross Of Ashes On Ash Wednesday
There are a number of reasons why Christians will wear crosses of ashes on their forehead during Ash Wednesday.
First, and perhaps most obvious, it reminds us of what is to come on Good Friday. We remember the penalty Jesus paid for us on the cross, dying for our sins, so that we may have eternal life .
Second, many churches will burn the fronds of the palms handed out on Palm Sunday during the former year. Palm Sunday remembers Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, right before the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday .
During the span of that week, the inhabitants of Jerusalem went from declaring Jesus to be their liberator to shouting, Crucify him, when he did not fulfill their expectations for a messiah figure.
Third, the ashes remind us that from dust we came and dust we will return . We will all face death, but because of Christ, we do not have to face eternal death. We are reminded of our human nature and our need for a Savior. Often, when a priest or pastor places an ash cross on someones forehead, they will say, Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.
We are reminded that we need to focus on things above, rather than get bogged down in the worries of this world.
Why Does Lent Fall On Different Dates Each Year
Lent is different each year because it depends on the date of Easter, which can occur anytime between March 22 and April 25. Which brings us to this question: Why is Easter on a different Sunday every year? Easter is always on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, or the first full moon after the spring equinox. This year, the spring equinox falls on Sunday, March 20, with the first full moon occurring on Saturday, April 16. Thats why Easter lands on April 17 this year.
Since the date of Easter varies every year, the religious observances of Holy Week do as well, including Ash Wednesday, which kicks off the Lenten season 46 days before Easter Sunday. An important note: These observances apply to the Western Christian traditions and are based on the Gregorian calendar, though the Eastern traditions use the Julian calendar and practice Great Lent, which starts on March 7 this year.
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So I Should Pig Out On Sundays Right
Not so fast . Just because your Lenten sacrifice isn’t binding on Sundays doesn’t mean that you have to go out of your way on Sundays to indulge in whatever you gave up for Lent. But in the same respect, you should not actively avoid it . To do so would be fasting, and that’s forbidden on Sundays even during Lent.
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What Is Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. This is an important event that had been anticipated hundreds of years prior, with prophesies like, Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey, being written long before Jesus was born.
The significance of Palm in the name of this day comes from the palm branches that were placed on the road in anticipation of Jesus arrival.
What To Give Up For Lent
Lots of people give up sweet treats for Lent, like sugary drinks, chocolate or ice cream.
If Dry January didnt work for you, giving up alcohol could be an option, or you could use the period to give vegetarianism a go
It doesnt have to be food-based, either. Some people try to avoid gossiping, or bad posture. Making an effort to speak more kindly or just using that new office chair for a sustained period could create a habit that lasts a lifetime.
Others set themselves a challenge, blocking social media or a favourite streaming service.
It could be an idea to try something more positive for the Lenten season. Instead of banning items, why not practice self-care: writing in a diary every day, or remembering to drink enough water?
Whether youre religious or not, the forty-day period is a good time to set a new goal.
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What Shoud I Give Up For Lent
Abstaining from certain activities and items are an essential part of spiritual growth. During Lent, when we “give up” things, it ought to be for the right reasons. Rather than losing weight or because it’s bad for us anyway, choosing a Lenten penance should teach us how to discipline our bodies and minds, so that we can be open to heavenly realities beyond our appetities. With this is mind, it’s possible to choose something beyond “no dessert” or “no diet Coke”. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Weeks Of Preparation 2022
Four Sundays of preparation precede Great Lent. The Church eases us into the fasting discipline during these weeks of preparation as follows:
- February 13 is the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and the week that follows is fast-free. There is no Wednesday or Friday fast this week.
- February 20 is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the week that follows is a normal week. Wednesday and Friday of this week are fasting days.
- February 27 is Meatfare Sunday and on this day we say farewell to meat. During the week that follows we fast from meat only. All dairy, cheese, eggs, wine, and oil are permitted during this week, even on Wednesday and Friday.
- March 6 is Cheesefare Sunday and on this day we say farewell to cheese, dairy, eggs, wine, oil, etc. This begins the fast proper.
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The End Of The Liturgical Season Of Lent
Liturgically, which means basically if you follow along in the Roman Catholic rulebook, Lent ends two days earlier on Holy Thursday. This has been the case since 1969 when âGeneral Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendarâ was released with a revised Roman calendar and revised Mass. Paragraph 28 states, âLent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lordâs Supper exclusive.â In other words, Lent ends just before the Mass of the Lordâs Supper on Holy Thursday evening, when the liturgical season of the Easter Triduum begins.
Until the revision of the calendar in 1969, the Lenten fast and the liturgical season of Lent were coextensive meaning both began on Ash Wednesday and ended on Holy Saturday.
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Lent Then And Now: The Differences
Forty days of fasting – that sounds like an empty fridge and at least two dress sizes less, doesn’t it? What do you associate with the term “Lent”? You didn’t think of a strict diet but of the Preparation time for Easter thought? Great, then you are one of the few who are still familiar with the traditions of the Christian church.
What began over 1600 years ago changed tremendously over the years. Originally, Lent was a Time of penance and reflection. It can be traced back to the Catholic Church and has been preparing for Easter since around 400 AD. Originally, Lent was supposed to help create more free space and use it for one’s own faith.
Today, many people are already happy if they manage not to break off prematurely. After New Year’s Eve, Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is incidentally one of the most popular days of the year to introduce good intentions. To give up television, the internet or driving, to lose weight and to get rid of annoying vices like smoking – what our renunciation today has to do with the original Lent, you will find out in the following lines.
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The Benefits Of Fasting According To St Thomas Aquinas
Lent is penitential in character. This means that Lent is a time prescribed by the Church to engage in acts of penance and mortification in atonement for the sins we have committed. It is recognized that an integral part of repentance, defined as turning away from sin and back toward God, includes penance both as an expression of sorrow for having offended God and others and as a means of helping to redress the wrongs we have committed.
Fasting has long been recognized as an excellent means of penance, with many spiritual benefits. In the post-modern world, however, the practice of fasting as a means of spiritual benefit has fallen into disuse. The focus is more often on the physical advantages of fasting while its spiritual benefits are disregarded. The Christian recognizes the primary importance of remaining spiritually healthy in view of eternal life, as opposed to a myopic, pagan view in which the material and temporal are given all the emphasis.
Because we are sinners, the Church teaches that Christians are required to do penance. In other words, repentance and penance go hand-in-hand. An example of this is found in the sacrament of Penance. After receiving absolution in the sacrament, penitents are always given some type of penance by the priest who acts as the minister of Christ’s forgiveness. Penance, then, is a universal requirement for Christians who commit personal sin.
Does Lent End On Easter Or Good Friday
Again, it depends on which denomination you ask, but traditionally, Lent ends on Holy Saturday. But depending if you start on Clean Monday, Ash Wednesday, or whether you do or dont count Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday, you may find yourself ending on Good Friday or Easter.
In reality, it doesnt truly matter who chooses to end on what day. We need to remember the core reasons why we celebrate Lent. Lent offers a time of reflection, where we can remember Jesus life on earth, his horrific death, and his glorious resurrection. I would advise the reader to follow their own church calendar . But should you feel a strong conviction to end on a particular day, plan accordingly.
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Sundays Are Not And Never Have Been Part Of The Lenten Fast
If the Church, both East and West, considered it of paramount importance that the Lenten fast be exactly 40 days, why did the Western Church extend the Lenten fast back to Ash Wednesday, which falls 46 days before Easter? Dom Guéranger spells it out for us, in this excerpt from Volume Five of The Liturgical Year:
We have already seen, in our , that the Orientals begin their Lent much earlier than the Latins, owing to their custom of never fasting on Saturdays, . They are, consequently, obliged, in order to make up the forty days, to begin the Lenten Fast on the Monday preceding our Sexagesima Sunday. These are the kind of exceptions, which prove the rule. We have also shown, how the Latin Church,which, even so late as the 6th Century, kept only thirty-six fasting days during the six weeks of Lent, thought proper to add, later on, the last four days of Quinquagesima, in order that her Lent might contain exactly Forty Days of Fast.
“or the Church has never allowed Sundays to be kept as days of fast . . . ” Thus, we arrive at the traditional formula, in the Western Church, for how the 40 days of Lent are calculated:
- Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, inclusive, is 46 days
- There are six Sundays in this period, which “the Church has never allowed . . . to be kept as days of fast”
- 46 days minus 6 Sundays equals the 40 days of the Lenten fast.
The Church continues today to regard every Sunday as a “little Easter.” As the Church’s 1983 Code of Canon Law notes :
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Fasting and Abstinence during Lent. Lent is the time before Easter during which the faithful abstain and fast in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. It is a 40-day time of.
In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus said, 16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting.
Intermittent FastingRules Divide each half of your day into a separate chunk of time. One for eating, and the other for abstaining from food … How do you fast for 40daysofLent? Foods like meat and fish, fats, eggs, and dairy foods are examples of the kind of foods that some Christians, both in the past and in the present, abstain from.
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The Lent period reflects when Jesus fasted and suffered in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, before he started his ministry. According to the Bible, he was tempted by Satan during this time.
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Seven fasting periods. During the Lent lead-up to Easter, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fast for 55 consecutive days . Throughout the year there are seven designated.
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Lent What Was That Again
Lent is based on the Holy Scripture of Christians, the Bible. It says that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. In remembrance of this, Christians all over the world prepare each year during Lent for Easter, that is, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Renunciation during Lent symbolizes reflection and repentance. Did you know that the term “Lent” is used only by the Catholic and Orthodox churches? Members of Protestant congregations and the free churches refer to the 40 days as the season of Passion.
What Are The Catholic Lent Rules
The basic Catholic Lent rules are simple:
Of course, there are many exceptions to these rules, and it helps to know the exact requirements for fasting and abstinence. Well cover these throughout the rest of the article.
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Where Does The Tradition Of Fasting Come From
Lent and fasting go hand in hand for many in the Christian church.
Many followers abstain from certain food or temptations, following Jesus 40-day fast in the desert in preparation for his public ministry.
Fasting has been practised for centuries within a number of religions and culture, and is featured within Jewish culture in the Old Testament.
For example, Queen Esther asked the Jewish nation to come together in prayer and fasting, and Christians often combine the two practices nowadays.
What Does This Have To Do With Sundays
From the very earliest days, the Church has declared that Sunday, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, is always a feast day, and therefore fasting on Sundays has always been forbidden. Since there are six Sundays in Lent, we have to subtract them from the days of fasting. Forty-six minus six is forty.
That’s why, in the West, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday to allow a full 40 days of fasting before Easter Sunday.
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When Does Lent 2022 End
Lent begins each year on Ash Wednesday the date of which varies each year because the date of Easter changes too.
The date of Easter changes because it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following or on the vernal equinox.
Lent lasts for 40 days until Maundy Thursday, which is the Thursday before Easter weekend.
In 2022 Maundy Thursday falls on Thursday, April 14 meaning that Lent concludes today
Easter lands on Sunday, April 17.
The actual length of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter is 46 days, but some Christians believe that Sundays are excluded from Lent as they are traditionally days of rest and feast.
Some Christians also consider Lent over either at Sundown on Holy Saturday or during Easter Sunday.
The 40 Days Of The Lenten Fast
The current Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
The 40 days mentioned here are not figurative or approximate they are not a metaphor they are literal. They are tied, as the 40 days of Lent have always been for Christians, to the 40 days that Christ spent in fasting in the desert after His baptism by John the Baptist. Paragraphs 538-540 of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church speak of the “salvific meaning of this mysterious event,” in which Jesus is revealed as “the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation.”
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What Is Christian Fasting
Christian fasting can be explained as refraining from food for spiritual purposes and edification. Merely abstaining from food because it is not available or for medical causes does not equate to Christian fasting. There must be a spiritual motive and purpose for fasting as a Christian, especially the fasting of Lent.
In his book A Hunger for God, John Piper writes, Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God. Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of a superior satisfaction in God, it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.
The purpose of fasting must be to draw closer to God.