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RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Easter: Lent

What do Christians remember during Lent?

 

What is Lent?

Lent is a special time in the Church calendar that takes place each spring in the run-up to Easter. It begins in either late February or early March with Ash Wednesday.

Lent lasts for 40 days and ends the day before Easter Sunday, on Holy Saturday.

It is a time when Christians remember how Jesus spent 40 days and nights alone in the desert, being tempted by the Devil. Jesus used this time to prepare for His work by fasting (going without food) and praying to God. You can read about this in Matthew 4:1-11 and  Luke 4:1-13.

Did you know?

If you count the days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, you will discover that this adds up to 46 days - 6 days too many! This is because the 6 Sundays are not included in the calculations. Lent is a serious time but Sundays are always a day of celebration in the Christian church and so they’re not included in the 40 days of Lent.

What do Christians do during Lent?

Christians spend the 40 days of Lent preparing for Easter Day. They set aside time to think about whether they are living in a way that makes God happy. They will ask for God's forgiveness for the times they mess up, and for his help to live in the way that he wishes.

Christians particularly remember all that Jesus did for each of them when he died on the cross on the first Good Friday. They also remember how he beat sin (the things which hurt God and people) and death when he came back to life on Easter Sunday.

Many Christians during Lent will give up eating certain foods or other luxuries, to help them concentrate on God. This is also a reminder of the fact that Jesus did not eat for the 40 days that he was in the desert. They sometimes set aside whole days of fasting and praying.

Learning from... Lent Have you ever tried to give something up for a period of time? What was it, and why did you give it up? Was it easy or difficult? Why? A lot of Christians believe we can learn a lot when we give up things that are special or essential to us. Do you agree? Why?