LENT is a forty-day-long season of the Church based on the forty days that Jesus fasted in the desert. The original purpose of Lent was to prepare Catechumenates (people who were learning about the Christian faith) for baptism on Easter Sunday. Today, Lent isn’t always used for pre-baptismal preparation, but it continues to be an important season of prayer, repentance, and self-denial for many Christians.
The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (ashes being an Old Testament symbol of repentance and mortality) and concludes on Easter Sunday (where we celebrate the triumph of Christ over Sin and Death).
There is no ‘official’ way to celebrate Lent in the Anglican tradition. Some people observe Lent by abstaining from certain practices (watching TV, Facebook, eating certain foods, etc.) or by taking up certain devotions (prayer, fasting, solitude, etc.). Lent is important primarily because it reminds us of the ‘big’ ideas of Christianity – our own culpability, the need to repent, and the unconditional Grace of God in Jesus Christ.