Posted by Mo. Lyn on Mar 05, 2018 Comments (0)
The traditional Lenten disciplines are fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Fasting can mean omitting certain meals, certain parts of meals, or certain foods from our diet. But it can also mean the giving up of a behavior or way of thinking which seems to be separating us from the awareness and presence of God. These disciplines are taken on as a means of spending Lent, a more penitential season, becoming more of the disciples we want to be. In addition, many Christians also add a spiritual discipline in Lent, such as reading spiritual literature, attending an extra worship service, or doing extra deeds of mercy.
In the early church, Lent was often the period of preparation for baptism on Easter Eve at the Great Vigil. It is the forty weekdays and six Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Forty days was chosen as the length of Lent in remembrance of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry. The color of the altar appointments and vestments is usually purple, although some churches use the color of unbleached linen with red and black trim. This is called the Lenten Array. There is a penitential spirituality to this season. It is a time of self-examination, a time when "Alleluias" are held back, as the more penitential flavor of worship is embraced. As a result, the joy of Easter is multiplied when we can finally say and sing them again. The goal of Lent is the joyful celebration of Easter with a renewed sense of commitment to the faithful priorities in one's life.