The History, Custom and Practices of Lent

It’s December 2020, the last month of the year, and a special month in which most of us spend time with family and friends as we remember what we’re grateful for and as we enjoy memorable moments which we have all been waiting for all year long. In consideration that December is also the month by which most of us celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas (though there are many people that enjoy such a holiday in a secular way), we at IvyRobes cannot help but remind ourselves and you all, the readers, a famous line from the song Celebration by Kool & the Gang, which goes like this: “Celebrate good times, come on!”. The entire year is full of holidays in which people celebrate good times and even important ideas that are significant to their own personal lives.

The celebration of Lent which is observed within a period of 40 days before Easter is no exception. We would like to dedicate the remainder of this article to providing you all some information on what Lent is, its significance, and even a little bit about how it is celebrated. The holiday is observed by Christians and is observed in honor of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God Incarnate and who came to identify with humanity in its struggle against sin and despair.

The Christian celebration of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which is normally towards the end of February and lasts for 40 days until Easter; the reasons why 40 days of Lent are observed are as follows:

1. In the book of Genesis, 40 days and nights of rain brought about the flood which destroyed the earth.
2. Before reaching the land promised to them by God, the Hebrews spent 40 days in the wilderness.
3. Moses fasted for 40 days, then he received the ten commandments from God on Mount Sinai.
4. Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his earthly ministry.

The whole celebration is observed as a means of remembering and imitating Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days; the holiday is marked by fasting from food and festivities. The greater spiritual meaning of this holiday is that it allows Christians to feel in their bodies in part the suffering and sacrifice that Christ experienced as a human being – though completely God – so that they could understand what it means to trust in God’s provision in times of weakness and of need and also so that they could learn what it means to treasure God above all things, even above tangible needs, since he is the Creator and also the Provider of all things.

Lent recalls the events that lead up to and included Christ’s resurrection by Rome. This is the actual reason why the holiday is celebrated before Easter. Its observation primarily consists of the recitation of the prayer and the inclusion of penitence which is performed during the fasting, though not all Christian churches observe such traditions. Other Christians observe the holiday differently, choosing instead to abstain from a particular vice for a time such as a favorite food or from smoking.

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