Lent and the Daniel Fast
Lent 2008 – February 6th – March 22nd
The season of Lent is the period in the Church Year between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It originated in the very early days of the Church as a time of preparation for new converts. They would receive instructions about their faith, the church and Jesus Christ before being baptized and receiving their first Holy Communion which took place at a Mass on Easter Eve. This is still practiced in most liturgical churches throughout the world. Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, is the most significant day in the Church Year as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. This includes the Lutherans, Episcopalians, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, and other Protestant denominations.
Forty Days of Lent
Lent is a forty-day period; however these days are not consecutive. The reason is that Sundays are not included in the count since they commemorate the resurrection of Christ. These 40 days remember Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness when He was tempted by Satan.
Today other members of churches who recognize the liturgical year practice Lent, along with those coming into full communion. It is a time for reflection, repentance and drawing closer to the Lord. During Lent, one makes sacrifices to observe the 40-day fast Jesus experienced in the wilderness. The most common food that is “given up for Lent” is meat, making the Daniel Fast a common way of eating during the 40 days of Lent.