What is Lent?
Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting, special prayer and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. The name “Lent” is from the Middle English “Lencten,” meaning spring; its more primitive ecclesiastical name was the “forty days,” “quadragesima” in Latin or “tessaracoste” in Greek. The number “forty” is first noted in the Canons of Nicaea (A.D. 325), likely in imitation of Jesus’ fast in the desert before His public ministry (with Old Testament precedent in Moses and Elijah). By the fourth century, in most of the West, it referred to six days’ fast per week of six weeks (Sundays were excluded).
During Lent, we are clearly conscious of the need to turn our minds towards those realities which really count. Realities which require Gospel commitment and integrity of life which are translated into good works and solidarity with the poor and needy.
We can take this time to go to confession, and communion… even if we’ve been a little absent from the Church.