Lent is a 40-day time period before Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday that prepares the faithful to celebrate Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection through fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
It is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper. It’s the season to reflect on one’s own actions and words, examine one’s relationships with God and with others, and to ask God to impart to our hearts the spirit of penance.
Here are 10 interesting facts you probably don't know about Lent:
The 40-day fasting time period honors the 40 days of fasting that Jesus Christ did in the wilderness when the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, and after he fasted, the devil tempted him three times which was right before Jesus began his public ministry.
The number 40 is a significant number in the Bible. In addition to the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.
In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.
The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.
Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
- Western churches do not fast on Sundays because Sunday is the Lord's Day that is seen as a time of spiritual celebration. Thus, this 40-day period is not a literal one.
- The observance of Lent dates back to the 4th century. Catholics started the tradition of Lent around the year 325, during the Council of Nicea.
- The name “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lencten” meaning spring. It refers to the lengthening of the days as spring draws near.
The Stations of the Cross are celebrated publicly on Fridays throughout the Lenten season.As you prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, Bethlehem Handicrafts uniquely carves the fourteen stations of Christ’s passion on Bethlehem’s olive wood. This uniquely carved Bethlehem’s olive wood made in the Holy Land is a priceless piece of art to remind you of the passion of Christ and the sacrifice he did just for our sins. “I have come so that they may have life” John 10:10.
- Airport workers, travelers, and others are not required to fast for the duration of their journey (except on Good Friday). However, It is desirable that they perform other acts of pious instead (Ucatholic).
- Wedding Masses may not be celebrated during the Easter Triduum, on Sundays of Lent, Ash Wednesday, or during Holy Week. Marriages may take place at other times during Lent, but lavish weddings are not desirable since it is contrary to the penitential spirit of the season (Ucatholic).
- The cross-shaped ashes that are placed on the foreheads of worshipers on Ash Wednesday, are meant to convey the themes of mortality and repentance like we are born again and raised from the dead through our redemption.Therefore, the ash is sometimes mixed with anointing oil, reminding us of the anointing that took place at baptism.
- The ash often comes from the burned remains of branches from last year's Palm Sunday.
May your Lent be a time of reflection and promise.
We, the Bethlehem Handicrafts’ team, are so proud to put the Holy Land in your hand by giving you a variety of the best and the most outstanding original Bethlehem’s olive wood carvings with the best quality made in the Holy Land.