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Lent is one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the preparation for Christmas. It is a six-week-long penitential preparation for Easter.
See the fact file below for more information on the beginning of Lent or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Beginning of Lent worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Lent is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words lencten, meaning “Spring,” and lenctentid, which literally means not only “Springtide,” but also was the word for “March,” the month in which the majority of Lent falls.
- Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
- Lent is a period of solemn observance and preparing yourself spiritually for the celebration of Easter.
- It is a special time for prayer, penance, sacrifice, and good works.
- The two special characteristics of Lent are the Recalling or Preparation of candidates of Baptism and the Penance of the sinners.
- Since the earliest times of the Church, a period of preparation and fasting likely has been observed before the Easter festival.
- As an example, Rufinos translated a passage written by St. Irenaeus to Pope St. Victor I commenting on the different practices in the celebration of Easter in East and West Catholic Churches.
- The practice was not formalized until the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE regularized after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 31.
- The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast (having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up one’s strength), and abstaining from meat.
- Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
- The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
FASTING AND ABSTINENCE
- The Catholic Church teaches that every Catholic must perform some penance for their sins to satisfy God’s justice for the temporal punishment due to sin.
- Fasting is the reduction of one’s intake of food, while Abstinence refers to refraining from meat or another type of food and anything of pleasure or indulgence.
EAST AND WEST CHURCHES
- Eastern Catholic Churches
- Eastern Catholic Churches named the 40 days season as “Great Lent”.
- Great Lent is specifically the Lent period of fasting and penance before the celebration of the Pascha.
- Pascha, from the Greek word for the Hebrew Passover, is the name used in the Eastern Catholic Church for the Easter feast.
- In Eastern Churches, Lent begins on the Monday of the seventh week before Easter and ends on the Friday that is nine days before Easter. This 40-day “Great Lent” includes Saturdays and Sundays as relaxed fast days.
- They do not observe Ash Wednesday.
- In early centuries, Eastern churches were strict about their fasting. One meal a day was allowed in the evening while meat, fish, eggs, and butter were forbidden. They also restricted the use of wine, oil, and dairy products.
- Western Catholic Churches
- Western Catholic Churches named 40 days season as Lenten season.
- Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter.
- Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday, and marks the end of Lent.
- Western Catholic Churches begin Lent on the 7th Wednesday before Easter Day, called Ash Wednesday. It excludes Sundays which are celebrated as the day of Christ’s resurrection.
- While Eastern churches restrict their fasting, Western churches have been more relaxed about it. Roman Catholics dispensed strict fasting only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. However, many Catholics still observe a meatless fast on Fridays during Lent, emphasizing penitential practices such as giving up specific pleasures (e.g., sweets, alcohol, or social media,) practicing self-control, foster simplicity, and almsgiving remains.
Beginning of Lent Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the beginning of Lent across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Beginning of Lent worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Lent which is one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the preparation for Christmas. It is a six-week-long penitential preparation for Easter.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Beginning of Lent Facts
- Is it true?
- Same but Different
- I’m on diet
- Use LENT in a Sentence
- Crossword Time
- CompLent Me
- Avoid or Not
- Poster for Lent
- Importance of Lent
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Link will appear as Beginning of Lent Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.