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What is Lent? – Geo.fr

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What is Lent?  – Geo.fr

An important period in the Christian religion, Lent is celebrated according to very specific rules.

When does Lent take place?

In the Christian religion, Lent is a period of forty days (not counting Sundays) which begins on Ash Wednesday, just after Shrove Tuesday, and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. The end of Lent is marked by Holy Week, which precedes Easter, the most important holiday among Christians.

Why does Lent last forty days?

The forty days of Lent refer to the forty years that the people of Israel spent in the desert, from their departure from Egypt to their arrival in the promised land. This period of forty days also refers to the episode of the temptation of Christ, recounted in the Gospels. After his baptism, Jesus Christ was driven into the desert by the Spirit. For forty days, he resists the temptations of the devil.

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What are the rules of Lent?

The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and sharing.

  • Like Jesus who withdrew to dialogue with the Father, the faithful must take the time to collect themselves in silence to be more receptive to the Word of God. These days, this includes using smartphones less or watching less television.
  • Fasting is an important part of Lent. It is a gesture of penance, but also of solidarity with the poor who do not have enough to eat. Fasting consists of eating only one meal per day, accompanied by a light snack in the morning or evening. It is of course allowed to drink water to hydrate yourself. Fasting must be observed at least on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The faithful are also asked not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent and to deprive themselves of addictions such as alcohol, tobacco or games.
  • Finally, sharing (or alms) consists of giving to the poor what one did not consume during one’s deprivation.
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What is the purpose of Lent?

The purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These forty days which alternate between prayer and deprivation must be seen as a period of spiritual combat. During this time of conversion, the faithful can let Christ inhabit them and let themselves be guided by the Spirit. They are also invited to reflect in order to refocus on themselves and discover what is cluttering their lives in order to better define their priorities.

What is the difference between Ramadan and Lent?

Ramadan, among Muslims, and Lent, among Christians, are often compared, because they both prescribe the practice of fasting. The fast of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this one-month period, Muslims are encouraged to gather in order to get closer to God. Sharing and solidarity are also prescribed. The purpose of Ramadan is therefore very similar to that of Lent.

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However, practices regarding fasting are different. Among Muslims, it is forbidden to eat and drink from dawn to sunset. It is also forbidden to have sexual relations. Once the sun sets, the faithful can drink and eat during collective and festive meals. They are also invited to go to the mosque for tarawihprayers during which the imam recites part of the Koran.

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