Each year since I published this first book, The Forty-Day Word Fast, momentum has built for people to fast hurting words for Lent. Many, many individuals, Bible study groups, Sunday School classes and others are using The Forty-Day Word Fast for Lent.
What is Lent? Lent is the six weeks leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most critical times of the year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the build-up to Christmas.
While Advent is a celebration and a time of great anticipation, Lent is a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Just as we carefully prepare for events in our personal lives, like a wedding or birthday, or commencement, Lent invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
When does Lent start? This year February 26-April 11.Because Lent follows the liturgical calendar, the exact date that Lent falls each year changes. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is always held 46 days (40 fasting days and 6 Sundays) before Easter Sunday.
What do Christians do during Lent? A few years ago, Pope Francis made a list of things for people to do for Lent. At the top of his list was for people to fast hurting words. These days, Christians around the world observe Lent in many ways. Many from more orthodox and traditional denominations will still observe the fast strictly, beginning with the wearing of ashes on Ash Wednesday and abstinence of meat, fish, eggs, and fats until Easter Sunday.Others will choose to give up just one item for Lent, more commonly a ‘luxury’ such as chocolate, meat, or alcohol. It is also becoming increasingly common for people to give up other things to refocus their faith during this time, such as watching TV, going to the gym, even social media.
Take The Forty-Day Word Fast this year for Lent.
“Fast hurting words and say kind words instead.” Pope St. Francis for Lent