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. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
Topic: Lent and Easter
Find devotionals, activities for families, inspiring stories and information about our faith for the observance of the Lenten and Easter seasons. Read More
Lent Quiz: Test your knowledge of the season (2015)
Get a new question daily as we explore traditions and symbols of the season. And share the quiz with others! Read More
40 Days of Lent: Find your own spiritual path
There is no one, right way to observe a holy Lent. These ideas and resources will help you stay on track throughout the season. Read More