Welcome to Lent
Since the earliest days of Christianity God’s people have celebrated the season of Lent.
One way in which this season is celebrated is through the Rite of Ashes. While traditionally done on Ash Wednesday, the ashes, made from the burning of palm fronds, are applied to the forehead in the sign of the cross as a reminder of our mortality, as a sign of repentance, and a public expression of our trust in the work of Jesus on the cross.
The season of Lent consists of the forty days that lead up to Easter, during which God’s people prepare for celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus by focusing on our need for the forgiveness, grace, and eternal life that the work of Jesus brings. These 40 days of repentance are meant to be a mirror of Jesus’ own forty days in the desert where He fasted and prepared for the beginning of His earthly ministry, which would ultimately end on Good Friday and begin again on Easter morning.
Along with the Rite of Ashes, here are some other ways to worship God as we celebrate Lent:
It is a common practice to abstain from a favorite food, beverage, or activity during the Lenten season. It should be something that you would normally enjoy daily, so that when you deny yourself the item, you are reminded to think of Christ and what He gave up for us. It is also encouraged that we enjoy the items we are fasting from on each Sunday during Lent as part of your worship and celebration of the Lord’s Day.
Lent is a perfect time to devote ourselves to serious prayer and study of God’s Word. We have prepared a Lenten devotional themed, “Just Words” to guide you in daily study and prayer. It is available in hard copy in the welcome area of your parish and online, for download. During these forty days we invite you to join the rest of your OSNY family in studying God’s word and focusing on our need for Jesus.
We pray that you find this Lenten season to be a beautiful means of preparing for the upcoming celebration of Good Friday and Easter.
Over the next 40 days, may our hearts and our minds be turned toward Him. Amen.