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When does Lent begin? Understand the meaning of the period

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When does Lent begin?  Understand the meaning of the period

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. For Catholics, preparation for Holy Week begins. Furthermore, the date is recognized by the Church as a period of reflection and devotion marked by “silence, prayer, penance and charity”.

Ash Wednesday is the first of the 40 days of Lent, and represents a call to conversion. With the imposition of the Ashes, a favorable period begins for the interiority of Christians who wish to prepare themselves to live the Paschal Mystery – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

“We begin Lent with the Mass of Ashes to remind humanity that we must all convert and believe in the gospel. We have to remember simplicity and that from dust we came and to dust we will return”, explains Father Jorge Alves Filho, parish priest of the Parish Santa Clara de Assis, in the Buritis and Estoril neighborhoods, western region of Belo Horizonte.

Traditionally, Catholics do penance during Lent, as a form of reflection. The act of not eating meat on this day or on some Fridays and even throughout Lent means remembering the Christ who was crucified. “A penance to remember that he gave his life to save us”.

What does Lent mean?

According to the priest, Lent represents a period of greater penance and prayer for Catholics. “We remember the Christ who spent 40 days and 40 days in the desert for his mission. We remember the mission of the Christ who came to save us”, he highlights.

Still according to him, at this time Christians seek confession and revive the practice of charity during Lent. “This is a period of intense prayer and reflection on the word of God. These days of Lent prepare us for Holy Week and the Lord’s Easter”, he explains.

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When does Lent end?

The period of Lent lasts 44 days and ends on Maundy Thursday, before the Foot Washing Mass. In 2024, Lent ends on March 28th.

Opening of the Fraternity Campaign

This year, the basic text of the 2024 Fraternity Campaign (CF) is the fundamental reflection that supports the path. He proposes to awaken, in accordance with the theme “Fraternity and social friendship” and the motto “You are all brothers and sisters” (cf. Mt 23:8), the beauty of human fraternity open to all, beyond our tastes, affections and preferences, on a path of true penance and conversion

The Fraternity Campaign, within the Church’s penitential path, also proposes during Lent next year, an invitation to convert to social friendship and the recognition of God’s will for everyone to be brothers and sisters.

see the special mass schedule on Ash Wednesday.

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