The Celebration of Lent

The close of Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season. Regardlessof religion and the fact that most students are away from home,many celebrate Lent in various ways.

Lent is the 40 days before Easter beginning onAsh Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday. Lent is an Old Englishword for spring.  It is based on the 40-days of sacrifice,which is a concurrent theme in the Bible.

In the Old Testament, Moses stayed on theMountain for 40- Days, Elijah traveled for 40-days before receivinghis vision and prior to embarking on his ministry, Jesus spent40-days fasting and praying.

Lent is a period marked by fasting andpraying.  During this time, Christians imitate Jesus with a40-day period of sacrifice.

Christina Mumbry, a student at Bowie StateUniversity says Lent is a time to break out of ordinary routines.Mumbry, a native of Maryland was born and raised in a strictCatholic household.  She says that she and her family has beenhonoring Lent season every year for as long as she canremember.

 “Every yearduring Lent, we go to Mass on Ash Wednesday, abstain from eatingmeat, eat fish on Friday, and pray more often than normal. We donot pray for material objects however, we pray prayers ofthanksgiving, and we pray for strength during this season,” shesaid.

 There aremany different ways that people choose to honor Lent season, somepeople similar to Janessa Davidson, a junior criminal justicemajor, at PACE University in New York, chooses abstinence as hersacrifice.  Davidson a native of New York said that she isabstaining from soda and carbonated beverages for Lent thisyear.

 “I don’tneed to drink soda anyway and I noticed I was becoming addicted toit, so I said I would give it up for Lent.  It has been a lotharder than I thought it would be so far, but I am determined tomake it, “said Davidson.

 AlthoughLent is tradition practiced in the Catholic faith, many people whoare not Catholic still celebrate it.  Virginia Erica, a juniorat Norfolk University in Virginia says that although she is notCatholic, she still celebrates the time of remembrance.

 “I am notCatholic.  In my family, we are Baptist, but we have beencelebrating Lent ever since I was little. When I was growing uppeople always asked me why I would give up things for Lent if I a.not a Catholic,” Erica said.

Although Lent is a Catholic celebration, otherfaiths practice the tradition for spiritual and personalreasons.