Lent

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Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent is the time of the believer’s preparation through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, self denial  and atonement of sins to celebrate the mysteries of the faith in the holy week of the passion, death and burial of Christ.

Many Christians commit to fasting, giving up luxuries, receiving the sacrament of Penance, and following a spiritual discipline like the Stations of the Cross.

Many Roman Catholic and some Protestants churches remove flowers from their altars on Holy Friday, and veil crucifixes, statues and other religious symbols in violet fabrics.

Ash Wednesday — a day of fasting and abstention of the consumption of meat — involves the blessing of ashes made from palm branches blessed on the last Palm Sunday.  The priests place the ashes on the heads of penitents and say expressions like “repent and believe in the gospel.” Ash Wednesday is not a day of obligation, but is important because the day predisposes Christians to penance.

 

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