The word "Lent" comes from an Old English word which means ‘long’ or ‘lengthen’.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection. It lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays, which are always mini-celebrations of Easter. The tradition may have grown from the early church practice of baptismal candidates undergoing a 40-day fast in preparation for their baptism at Easter, remembering that Jesus spent that many days in the wilderness, where he fasted and was tempted at the beginning of his public ministry. Eventually, the season evolved into a period of spiritual devotion for the whole church.
Purple, the liturgical colour of Lent—a colour associated with mourning, but also with royalty— celebrates Christ's resurrection and reign as a peacemaker.
As Lent comes during the time of the year when the days are getting longer and we are seeing more and more sunshine, the season of Lent helps us to focus more and more on the light in our lives, so that the darkness disappears. The last week of Lent, the Holy Week, begins with Palm Sunday, includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and ends with Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday celebrations unite us in resurrection and new life.
This year during Lent at United Churches of Langley we will be exploring the practice of prayer. We will look at a variety of translations of the Lord’s Prayer and have an assortment of prayer opportunities for everyone to experience. The season of Lent will help us to continue to be ‘People of Prayer’ as we weave a faith that matters.