What is Lent and Why Do We Celebrate It?

When does Lent begin and end?

Lent is a time of preparation. As a 40-day journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a date that changes every year. The season of Lent ends with Holy Week, culminating in the great celebration of Easter.

What is the meaning of Lent?

As Catholics, the spiritual pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving guide us in daily reflection in our own lives as we strive to deepen our relationship with God and neighbor—no matter where in the world that neighbor may live. Lent is a time of personal and spiritual growth, a time to look outward and inward. It is a journey in mercy.

How to Fast for Lent

The Catechism invites Catholics to abstain from meat during the Fridays in Lent. Preparing meatless meals—like the ones we collect from countries around the world—is a great Lenten activity for families, offering an experience of global solidarity without ever needing to leave the kitchen! In addition to meatless Fridays, Catholics are also invited to offer daily sacrifices. By giving up little things—coffee, candies and more—we make room for God to act in our lives in new ways, and have the opportunity to give the money we save to those most in need.

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