Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent

The season of Lent arrives on March 1st which is also known as Ash Wednesday.  We will feature two worship services on Ash Wednesday: one at 6:00 pm in Wesley Hall which will be shorter and geared toward families with children and a full service in the sanctuary at 7:00 pm.  This service features the Imposition of Ashes.  This practice is where a pastor will put the ashes in the sign of the cross on your forehead.  This represents repentance and the realization that we are more than just our bodies.

The season of Lent lasts for 40 days and ends with Easter Sunday.

Here is a quick Lent FAQ for you!

If I give something up, can I do it on Sundays during Lent?
Sundays are not actually part of the forty days of Lent.  Some people choose to keep their discipline for the entire period and some give themselves a grace period on Sundays.  It may depend on what you choose and how hard it is to go “cold turkey”.  I try to include Sundays in my discipline but it is between you and God.

What are things that are helpful to give up?
When I’ve talked about this with children, I always hear at least one response of giving up broccoli.  I try to make it clear that it should be a sacrifice.  It shouldn’t be easy to do.  Some people I know have given up their smart phones, texting, television, gaming, Sonic, Starbucks and the internet (all different people).  I’ve given up sweets (including pop) many times before.  One year I gave up jalapeno peppers and another year, I gave up beef (both these were tougher than sweets for me).  I’ve given up eating anything after dinner which is difficult for those who like to snack.  I’ve fasted on Fridays.  I always anticipate Easter!

What about fasting?
Fasting can be done all day long or it can be done only during daylight hours.  It can be the fast of a single meal per day.  Some put the proceeds of what they spend on lunch toward a ministry dealing with hunger (such as Skyline Urban Ministry which will be our church’s focus during Lent).  I don’t advise children, youth or older adults to fast and encourage anyone fasting to drink milk or juice during the day.