Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Historically, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God; prayerfully releasing things in their lives that do not bring God pleasure, and embracing the life of Christ more fully.