Lent is the fourth season of the Christian calendar year which extends from Ash Wednesday to Easter. On Ash Wednesday, the pastor draws a cross of ashes on our foreheads to remind us that our bodies will one day return to dust. Lent is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) to observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his life, his suffering and his sacrifice, his unconditional love for us, death, burial, and resurrection.
Some Christians will make a commitment to fast, or to give up something—a habit, such as smoking, watching TV, or swearing, or a food or drink, such as sweets, chocolate or coffee. Some Christians also take on a Lenten discipline, such as reading the Bible and spending more time in prayer to draw nearer to God. Strict observers do not eat meat on Fridays, having fish or vegetarian meals instead. The goal is to strengthen the faith and spiritual disciplines for the purpose of developing a closer relationship with God.