Facts about Lent:
- Lent is a time when Christian people get ready for Easter.
- Lent is a sacred time within the Church calendar. It is a time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
- Lent lasts for forty days reminding us of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert doing penance and fasting. It begins on Ash Wednesday (26th February 2020) and finishes before sunset on Holy Thursday. We don’t count Sundays in the forty days because Sundays are days of celebration in the Church calendar.
- Purple vestments are worn by the priest during Lent.
- The Gloria and Alleluia are not prayed at Mass during Lent.
- Lent comes from the word “lente” which means springtime.
- Many people promise to do something during Lent to help them to be more like Jesus. Sometimes they give up something they like, they fast from sweets or television. Other people promise to do something like being kinder, going to Mass, saying prayers or to put money in the Trócaire box to remind them to help others who are not as lucky as they are.
- What we do during Lent helps us to get ready for Easter.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. On Ash Wednesday people are asked to fast. On Ash Wednesday the priest blesses the ashes and uses them to make the sign of the cross on our foreheads. The priest or minister says ‘turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel’, or similar words. Wearing ashes is a sign that a person is going to make an extra special effort during Lent to use his/her gifts for the good of others.