Sunday, February 26, 2012

Your Guide to a Catholic Lent

What is Lent?
Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting, special prayer and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. The name "Lent" is from the Middle English Lenten and Anglo-Saxon Lenten, meaning spring; its more primitive ecclesiastical name was the "forty days," tessaracoste in Greek. The number "forty" is first noted in the Canons of Nicaea (A.D. 325), likely in imitation of Jesus' fast in the desert before His public ministry (with Old Testament precedent in Moses and Elijah). By the fourth century, in most of the West, it referred to six days' fast per week of six weeks (Sundays were excluded); in the seventh century the days from Ash Wednesday through the First Sunday were added to make the number forty.

Follow these link to a comprehensive look at the disciplines of Lent:

• Stations of the Cross
What almsgiving really means
What are you doing for Lent this year?
Fasting and abstinence
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...
Families can make Lenten memoriesPretzels: A Lenten treat
10 tips for making the season more meaningful
The story behind Passion Plays
Lenten prayers and devotions
2012 Lenten message from Pope Benedict XVI

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