Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent

Hand sewn cross on my Lenten stole © Ricky Yates

Yesterday, 17th February was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.

Originally, Lent was a period in which new Christian believers underwent a period of teaching and preparation ready to be baptised on Easter Eve/Holy Saturday, before being admitted to receive Communion for the first time on Easter Day. Fasting and prayer were regarded as being important elements of that time of preparation.

Lent was also the time when those who had been excommunicated from Christian fellowship because of apostasy or serious faults, could undergo a time of prayer, fasting and penitential acts showing that they had truly repented of their past failures, so that they might be readmitted to Eucharistic fellowship on Easter Day.

In time, it was seen that all Christian believers might benefit from a period of self-examination, fasting study and . . . → Read More: Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent