The journey to Easter
Across its history the Church has developed a number of sacred festivals and seasons that shape the annual rhythm of Church life and helps focus on important aspects of the Christian faith.
The foundation of the Christian season of Lent is found in the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness following his baptism in the river Jordan. In Judaism the number 40 relates to change, so we have the 40 days of rain in the flood narrative, 40 years the people wandered in the wilderness these are times of leaving the old behind in order to begin the new.
The observation of Lent aims to prepare the faithful for Holy Week and Easter through denial of self and greater openness to God in daily life.
The season begins on Ash Wednesday when Palm Crosses are burned to make ash. These Palm Crosses were received on Palm Sunday last year when we commemorate Jesus arriving in Jerusalem and committed ourselves to living with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We burn them now in recognition of our failure to do this and the ash is used to make the sign of the cross on our forehead. This is the place where the sign of the cross was made in our Baptism to show we belong to Jesus and is a powerful reminder to us of the need for change and repair in our relationship with God in Christ Jesus.
Videos for Lent