Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Western Religions

Lent: It is not just for Catholics

See also

According to Dennis Bratcher, writing for "The Voice," Lent is not just for Catholics. The most sacred time of the year for most Christians is becoming ever more popular with Protestants. Bratcher cites protests against Catholicism and rejection of a "high church" liturgical style of worship as the main reasons why so many Protestants have rejected Lent in the past.

Increasingly, argues Bratcher, more Protestants are "recovering aspects of a larger Christian tradition as a means to refocus on spirituality in a culture that is increasingly secular." Lent offers the perfect time to recover one's spirituality. This 40 days of fasting and prayer stands in the long tradition of the sacred number 40 which means a time of testing and trial in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Hebrews spent 40 years wondering in the wilderness after their deliverance from slavery; Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tested by the devil -- these are just a few examples of how 40 is a sacred symbol from the numerology of the Bible.

During Lent, it is customary to give up something such as a food or drink or activity during the entire time of Lent and then have some dedicated periods of fasting such as sun up to sun down and Good Friday to Easter Sunday. There are no hard and fast rules and people are encouraged to do whatever they can do consistent with their health and environment. Anyone with a medical condition or who takes medication ought to consult with a healthcare specialist before undertaking fasting. For those who cannot fast, it is customary to take on some special activity such as volunteering at a hospital or homeless shelter.

In recovering Lent as a spiritual discipline, Protestants can close the door on a historical misunderstanding and protest and open the door to new possibilities of understanding and cooperation among what is the largest religion in the world and also the most divided.

Advertisement

Life

  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    Camera
    9 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Any afternoon will do
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518014543" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518014543&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Verne & Florence Stemmons
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518189083" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518189083&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Review of the movie 'Persecuted'
    <iframe width="600" height="337" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z4FslottUKo?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>