Ash Wednesday (March 5) marks the beginning of Lent — traditonally a penitential season of self-examination, prayer, fasting and works of love. In many churches, ashes are placed on the forehead as a reminder of the shortness of life.

The word “Lent” is from the Middle English verb meaning “to lengthen.” In the Northern Hemisphere, the season corresponds with the lengthening of days during late winter and early spring.

During Lent, Christians prepare themselves spiritually for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. The season spans forty days: the number forty symbolizes the spiritual journey home, corresponding to the forty days Jesus fasted in the desert before he began his public ministry and the forty years Israel journeyed through the wilderness towards the promised land. The color of Lent is purple. During Holy Week, red is sometimes worn to symbolize the blood shed by Jesus for the salvation of humanity.

At Abbey Way

This year at Abbey Way we will be focusing on the "I am sayings" in the Gospel of John which will help us understand and encounter who Jesus is as we journey towards the remembrance of Jesus death and celebration of his resurrection.

During our Little Lesson portion of the evening, we will provide opportunities to learn, dialogue and reflect on who we are together in the Season of Lengthening both as individuals and as a community.