Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. ‘Lent’ is an old English word meaning 'to lengthen' - Lent is observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer and brighter.
By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is a time when, traditionally, Christians give something up (fasting/abstinence) and give alms (gifts of money to charitable causes). It is also a time for drawing closer to God in prayer, Bible study, and worship – hence this booklet.
Following are a series of Bible passages which you are invited to read prayerfully and to reflect on. After that, for each passage is a suggested response, drawing on the theme of the reading, because as St James put it, “faith without works is dead” (James 2: 26).
Traditionally, the Western Church does not include Sundays when calculating Lent, as Sunday is always the day celebrating Christ's resurrection, but I have included readings and responses for the Sundays of Lent for the sake of completeness.
As you read and respond over this special time in the Church’s year, may I wish you a fruitful Lent.
Every blessing, Fr Andrew