The history and impact of Lent, Ash Wednesday

A girl gets marked on her forehead with the cross for Ash Wednesday.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A girl gets marked on her forehead with the cross for Ash Wednesday.

There are many different religions throughout the world. The Catholic religion is probably the most common that celebrates Lent and Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting, which is the first day of Lent. The word ‘Lent’ actually means March, which is the month Lent is in and is a time of preparation for Easter. 

This year, Lent goes from Feb. 26 to April 9. Lent is a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Those who participate in this are also not allowed to eat meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. Lent is usually a huge part of many Christian religions and means a lot to them.

Ash Wednesday impacts my faith each year by reminding me how fortunate I am,” teacher Rachel Stahl said. “By sacrificing something of enjoyment, I can offer up that tiny sacrifice as a sort of prayer.”

Many people of the religions that practice Lent take this time to reflect on their Christianity.

“Lent is a time for sacrifice and renewal,” Stahl said. “An opportunity to start afresh after reflection.” 

Each year, Christians give up something they have or do for Lent. Although this can be challenging at times, it is something that they want to do for their religion.

“Giving up something I enjoy or adding something to my routine that will improve me as a person helps give me perspective and appreciation,” Stahl said.