Lent, explained - Deepstash
Lent, explained

Lent, explained

vox.com

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Lent Before Easter

Lent Before Easter

Lent is the greatest and most solemn period of fasting on the Christian church’s calendar, leading up to the celebration of Christianity’s most important feast day: Easter.

Like most practices rooted in Christianity, the way people observe Lent, or whether they observe it at all, varies wildly depending on their heritage, specific religious tradition, and preferences. Still, there are some rules and guidelines that mark the observance of Lent for Christians who observe the season. And, increasingly, even nonreligious people are picking up the ritual.

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Duration And Meaning of Lent

Lent technically lasts for 46 days. The period is a mirror of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting, praying, and being tempted by Satan before he started his public ministry.

The concept behind Lent is that each year, Christians will mimic Jesus’s actions in the wilderness. Lent is sometimes called the “Great Fast.” It’s a period of time in which Christians are meant to give up some comfort or adopt some spiritual practice that leads to self-examination, repentance from sin, and, ultimately, renewal of the soul.

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How The Dates For Lent Are Calculated

How The Dates For Lent Are Calculated

  • It depends on the date of Easter. But since roughly the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the date of Easter has been more or less determined by locating the first full moon following March 21 on the Gregorian calendar. And that’s how the date is determined by Western churches today.
  • Orthodox Christians use a slightly different system — which means that when Orthodox Easter (sometimes called Pascha) lands on the same day as Western Easter, it’s coincidental.
  • Once the date for Easter is fixed, all you have to do to calculate the other days of observance that fall during the Lenten period.

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How People Fast During Lent

  • Western Christianity typically allows observers to pick whatever they want to fast from, based on a person’s understanding of what earthly comforts distract them from worship.
  • Protestants in particular tend to avoid specific church-mandated practices when it comes to fasts.
  • Some Catholics keep a more rigid version of the fast. The most notable and well-known practice is abstaining from eating meat on Fridays.
  • Orthodox Christianity is far more strict about the fast: observers fast from meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, olive oil, and alcohol every weekday, during lent.
  • Some don’t fast at all.

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