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What is Lent?


I have been asked more than once about a simple introduction to Lent, so I have expanded my reflection about adapting Lent to the Southern Hemisphere and preceded it with an introduction What is Lent?

Here is a reflection on Shrove Tuesday.
Here is a Shrove Tuesday Hymn.

Here is a worship outline for Ash Wednesday – A Service for the Beginning of Lent

Outline and some ideas for services in Lent.

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Add resources and ideas and good devotional links in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “What is Lent?”

  1. A prayer attributed to Ephrem the Syrian (306–373), used by Eastern Christians on the weekdays of Lent:

    Lord and master of my life! Take from me the spirit of laziness, meddling, lust for power and idle chatter.


    Instead, give me, your servant, a spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love.


    Yes, Lord and King! Let me see my own faults and not judge others, for you are blessed for ages and ages. Amen.


  2. I agree with you, save for the “alleluia” thing. Farewell from alleluia is taken on the first evensong of Septuagesima Sunday.

    The Shrovetide or pre-lenten tide is not only Western, but also overall Eastern and Lutheran.

  3. A reminder. For the Orthodox there is no absence of “Alleluia” during Lent (a season of “bright sadness”). Indeed the Alleluias are multiplied!

    1. In Eastern Orthodox practice, during Lent “Alleluia” replaces the psalm verse sequence that starts with “God is the Lord and has revealed himself to us” in Matins — which is considered more “joyful” in Byzantine liturgy. So the substitution is really born of the same logic for suppressing “Alleluia” during Lent in Western liturgy.

      1. In fact, the absence of alleluias in West, and its emphasis in the Byzantine rite were two landmarks of distinction between the two rites.

        Moreover, every Mass in the Byzantine rite has the Alleluia btw Epistle and Gospel… save for the Eastern vigil, where psalm 82/81 is sung in alleluia’s stead.

        This is because in the Byzantine rite, Alleluia is rather for mourning.

        1. “Alleluia” is not exclusively associated with mourning in the Byzantine rite. If it were, it wouldn’t be used in the Divine Liturgy, the celebration of the eucharist, which is always considered festal and resurrectional. In Lenten Matins, “Alleluia” replaces the psalm sequence “God is the Lord,” which is considered more joyful for that particular office.

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