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Is Lent More of a Ritual or a Spiritual Awakening?

The original purpose of fasting and abstaining was to draw people to repentance of sins and remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to atone for those sins. When we use these traditions to draw us closer to God, they can become more than religious routines; they can spur spiritual transformation motivated by the Gospel.

How Did Jesus Model Lent for Us in the Bible?

Jesus models Lent for us, yet it is up to us to put it into action. Through following Jesus' model for Lent, we will be able to draw closer to the Lord, grow stronger in our faith, and shine brightly for Him.

Understanding Ash Wednesday Fasting and Abstinence Rules for Lent

Although many churches recognize the season of Lent and may practice their own traditions during this period of time entering Good Friday and subsequently Easter, not all of them have a specific tradition regarding Ash Wednesday and Lent fasting. The idea of abstaining from certain worldly pleasures to focus on the meaning of the holiday, has valuable meaning regardless of denomination affiliation.More prominent in denominations such as the Lutheran church and the Catholic church, we might see the commemoration of Ash Wednesday through a pastor or priest marking an ash cross on the foreheads of those in the congregation or parish, to symbolize repentance and reconciliation.Let’s look at what is involved during Ash Wednesday, what the fasting rules are during Lent, and how we can prepare our hearts for this Lent season.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Uladzimir Zuyeu

Are You Misusing Lent to Lose Weight?

I also take comfort in knowing that should such temptations arise again, He will be there to help me through. Anorexia does not have the final say in my Lenten season or my life; God does.

4 Things We Show Others When We Participate in Lent

We should be ready with an explanation in mind that shows our hope as a believer. We can explain why we’re making this sacrifice, and that reason should be to glorify God. Here are four things we show people when we participate in Lent.

5 Ways to Teach Your Kids about Lent and Include Them in It

These are deep topics for kids to understand, so consider Lent a time to introduce them to these concepts. Depending on their ages, it may be as simple as beginning to help them understand what sin is or as complex as teaching the theology behind many of the observations during Lent.

5 Ways to Observe Lent in Your Marriage

The season of Lent isn't just for Catholics. Protestants can also utilize this season to become closer with God and with each other in their marriages. Dedicate yourself to using your gifts in your home to edify your spouse. Dedicate your forty days to sacrificing something to understand Christ's sacrifice better. Pray together and allow God to grow your love for him and each other.

5 Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Lent

Oh, how I need the presence of Your Spirit! Please, God, as I look forward to Easter and the newness of spring, let it be a time of personal growth. Prune the branches in me that are not bearing fruit and cultivate the parts that are ready to flourish.

10 Things for Couples to Give Up During Lent

Do you have a significant other (a wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé)? If so, why not give something up as a couple? Not only will this unique spin on the typical Lenten practice help you grow in your faith, but it's also sure to help you grow in your relationship.

Can You Celebrate Lent if You Are Not Catholic?

Over the past few centuries, scholars have argued about the benefits of Lent. Do we do it? Do we not? Should I even celebrate Lent if I am not Catholic? To answer this question, we need to dive into a little bit of context.

An Ash Wednesday Prayer for Remembrance and Reflection

In addition to receiving an ash cross on our forehead, services also have an Ash Wednesday prayer. Whether you, as a pastor, need ideas for the prayer, or you as a laity want to pray with your family before or after the Ash Wednesday service, we’ve included an example below.

A Beautiful Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a penitent service that uses ash to mark the sign of the cross on the believer’s forehead, symbolizing our sinful nature and need for salvation. The Catholic church usually uses the ashes of Palm Sunday branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service.

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