Skip Navigation

FAQs: Lent & Easter

Ingrid McIntyre receives ashes from street chaplain, Lindsey Krinks. About 30 people gathered as a community to share in the Ash Wednesday liturgy and to raise awareness of those suffering from homelessness and poverty. McIntyre is a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tenn. A file photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Why ashes? Connecting to who we are and who we can be

On Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, an ancient act reminds us our bodies are temporary and our lives are flawed, but a day of resurrection will come. Read More

Fork and knife against white background. Photo by Bjorgvin Gudmundsson /

What does The United Methodist Church say about fasting?

Fasting has been a part of Methodism from it's early beginnings. There is a strong biblical base for fasting. Read More

Why is the Easter season fifty days long?

Easter is more than one day. Why does this season last fifty days? Read More

What is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday. Learn more here. Read More

What is a Tenebrae service?

The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service. Learn more here. Read More

When did United Methodists start the “imposition of ashes” on Ash Wednesday?

United Methodists have had resources for worship that include the imposition of ashes since 1979. Read More

A Lenten display features a crown of thorns and cross with purple cloth.  Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

What is Lent and why does it last forty days?

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Read More

Receiving the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. A UMNS photo illustration by Kathleen Barry.

Why ashes on Ash Wednesday?

The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Read More