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.

Many Christians fast, give up luxuries, receive the sacrament of Penance, and follow a spiritual discipline like the Stations of the Cross.

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

Ash Wednesday — a day of fasting and abstaining from meat consumption — involves the blessing of ashes made from blessed palm branches 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 predisposes Christians to Penance.

 

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