Ash Wednesday and Lent: The Meaning Behind the Sacrifice

With Ash Wednesday upon us, there are a vast number of Christians all over the world attempting to take up the challenge of sacrificing something that they cherish or enjoy for Lent. Some of the most common vices that are given up include soda, alcohol and sweets.


This period of sacrifice that Christians refer to as Lent is a 40 day period meant to symbolize the 40 days and nights in which Jesus Christ spent fasting in the wilderness. The term Lent comes from a Latin word which means “lengthening” of daylight hours through the progression from the darkness of cold winter to the new light of spring.

Though the larger number of Christians making a sacrifice this Lent will choose a vice, the emphasis is believed to be on actually doing something. No matter what the individual believer may choose to sacrifice, the decision lies solely with that person.

The options are limitless and can be quite challenging depending on one’s personality and goals. Some people are creative in what they decide to forgo.

For Christians who are concerned with the struggle and worried about possible “failure,” simply remember to pick yourself up and start all over again. This is a time of prayer, penance and repentance of sins.

It is completely symbolic of Christ’s struggle for us. If you do happen to fall, keep in mind the thought of Jesus Christ falling three times while going up Calvary Hill.

It will not signify the end of the world. Instead, it merely states you are human and created in God’s image. Even the specified number of days represents a new beginning. So start fresh.


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