The Purpose of Lent


What is the purpose of lent and why do Catholics celebrate it? During the celebration of Lent it is typically thought of as a way to remember the love of God and of how Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. 

The custom of putting ashes of a cross on Ash Wednesday is a symbol of recognizing our sins and to repent. The ashes come from a burnt palm that was blessed the previous Palm Sunday. Lent is practiced by most Christian groups, including Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and more. On Ash Wednesday people usually participate in universal fasting and give up something that is usually a delight. It’s traditional to not eat meat on Fridays during Lent to remind the faithful that Jesus died on a Friday. Not eating meat reflects the life of Jesus Christ and not eating meat on Fridays is to honor him. We celebrate 40 days of lent because that number is very significant in the bible and is used repetitively. 

People around the world usually celebrate Lent because they want to honor their faith and show their devotion to god. For this year, lent started on Wednesday, February 22 and will end on the 6th of April on a Thursday. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote In AD 339, the Lenten fast was a forty-day fast that the world observed. Lent is a 40-day period before Easter that was developed after the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The earliest known practices of Lent are more focused particularly on the practice of fasting.