The first day of Lent falls on Ash Wednesday, February 13, through Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. A total of 40 of the 46 days are observed in Christian repentance of their sins with prayer, fasting, confession and abstinence. It is the time to prepare for remembrance of Christ Jesus death.
Questions and Answers about Ash Wednesday and Lent
If Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday are 46 days then what happens to the other 6 days during Lent?
Christians are to worship and rest on the Sabbath day and are forbidden to fast or do penance on the Sabbath, which is observed on Sunday. This is why Lent is only 40 days of the 46 days of Lenten, Sundays are excluded from days of fasting or penance.
Is it true that Saturday was originally the Sabbath?
Yes, the seventh day of the week according to the Book of Genesis in the Bible says God rested on the seventh day after creation.
Why do Christians celebrate Sunday as the Sabbath now?
Christ arose on Sunday, Christians consider it a new creation and that is why Jesus followers celebrate the Sabbath on every Sunday in celebration of His resurrection day.
What does fasting mean to Christians?
Fasting for Roman Catholic Christians means to abstain from meat of mammals and fowl on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. Fish and dairy products are permitted along with one full meal, and if necessary, two small meals for those who have health problems such as diabetics.
Who can receive ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday?
Ashes are sacramental for Catholic's and may be given to anyone who wishes to receive them. Sacraments on the other hand are reserved for church members except for grave necessity. In all Christian denominations ashes may be received by all who profess to be a Christian and are baptized.
What happens when the cross of ash is placed on the forehead?
As the Priest makes a sign of the Cross on the forehead with ashes, he will say "Remember that you are from dust and to dust you shall return," as we were created by God from dust.
Important Christian meanings during Lent:
Abstinence - is a voluntary restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. (Food, alcohol or sexual abstinence.)
Confession - is admitting to ones sins or wrongs.
Repentance - means to turn away from sin and gain forgiveness for doing wrong.
Penance - the desire to be forgiven.
Prayer - an act of that seeks to start a rapport with a deity through deliberate communication.
Fasting - the act of willingly abstaining from all food, drink or pleasures for a period of time.
Worship - means worth-ship; an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity such as a God.
Baptism - washing away of old sins and admission or adoption into the Christian church.
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