Many times we hear of Lent, the period when many houses become quieter, when the winds seem to have a life of their own and when people focus on faith and prayer.
It is known as Lent: the 40-day period that precedes the main Christian celebration that is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and is celebrated on Easter Sunday.
The word Lent, in fact, it comes from Latin quadragesima, which means "fortieth day", referring to the period it covers, which provides spiritual preparation for Easter.
It is said that previously, Christians prepared the Easter feast by observing three days of prayer, meditation and fasting, but later, the Church increased the preparation time to forty days, which today we know as Lent.
Lent also refers to:
- the 40 days of the universal flood,
- 40 years of the march of the people of Israel and
- the 40 decades of slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt.
This stage is marked by the unfolding of Christian faith and prayers awaiting the maximum celebration. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on the eve of Easter or Resurrection Sunday.
When is Lent in 2021?
- La Lent year 2021 starts on Wednesday February 17
- Ends April 3, 2021.
What are the characteristics of the Lenten period?
The purpose of Lent It is to prepare spiritually to receive God in the life of each devotee, and for this they pray and fast in order to receive the blessings and reflect on the sacrifices that Jesus had to make to rid the world of sins.
What is the most important thing about Lent for a Christian?
This is a period of:
- reflection and
- spiritual conversion.
In the opinion of many devotees, who spend those 40 days shedding the influences of the world and asking Jesus for his eternal blessing.
At this time, the Church calls the faithful to fast and penance, just as Jesus did in the desert before undertaking his public mission, and to eliminate the vanities of life and daily routine.
Colors and symbols of Lent
Christians, Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, and some branches of Protestantism, such as Anglicans and some Evangelical churches, also celebrate the period of Lent.
What is the color that identifies Lent?
During it, the ministers of the Catholic Church dress in clothes of Purple color to symbolize sadness, pain, penance and sacrifice, as a reminder of the time when Jesus was crucified.
The fourth Sunday is used the color pink, while Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before the Resurrection, is used the Red color, referring to the Passion of the Lord.
Meanwhile, Lent also has some important symbols associated with it, such as:
- The ash cross They represent the "burning" or purging of sins prior to Lent. In this way, believers are considered clean for baptism and reunion with Christ.
- Purple color. This is the color of the robes that Jesus Christ wore during his Calvary.
- The cross as a universal Christian symbol.
Lent in Cuba
Cuba, a country in which the Catholic faith predominates, also respects the period of Lent and the faithful limit themselves in that period to eating meat, eggs, butter, fish, and some even discard the consumption of wine and the use of oil.
In some cases, abstinence and home confinement are also practiced.
Many, on the other hand, visit the numerous churches in the country and ask Jesus for his blessings.
In Cuba, custom indicates that, to start Holy Week, believers go out into the streets in procession carrying palm leaves that they then keep in their homes as sacred elements.
This procession is known as the guano festival and both churches and altars are adorned with those leaves that are burned on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of the Lenten period.