All you need to know about Lent this year

Christians at St. David’s Cathedral line up to be marked with ash. Photo : CNP

With Easter just around the corner, the season of Lent draws near as Christians all over the world prepare to abstain from their favourite indulgences for the next 40 days.

The season officially began yesterday, Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent in the Christian calendar.
In Cardiff, Archbishop George Stack led the 12:30 pm Mass service at St David’s Cathedral at Charles Street, by burning the palms used last year,  as a symbol of destruction of death and sin.

“When we put ash on the fore head, it is a symbol of purification of new life,” said Archbishop George Stack. He added, “it is an act of sign, it reminds us to remember we are dust and unto dust we shall return urging us to repent.”
The Archbishop urged the faithfuls to dedicate their life during this season to prayer, fasting and alms giving.

Significance of the 40 days Lent
Canon Peter Collins, Cathedral Dean of St. David’s Cathedral told Cardiff News plus on Thursday that the Forty Days of Lent have a great biblical precedent.

Canon Colins said, “The Christian church undertakes 40 days of preparation sacrificing our own resources, not just monetary, but  in time, talent, attending to the needs of those who are in greatest need. Prayer, fasting and alms giving have particular focus on Lent. It relates to the times spent by Jesus in the desert after his baptism, thereafter he was tempted by the devil and this was part of the preparation for his public ministry. Those 40 days that he spent in the desert relates to the time when the Hebrew people spent 40 years wandering in the desert.”

Canon Peter Collins, Cathedral Dean at St. David’s Cathedral Cardiff. Photo: CNP

He further added that fasting and abstinence have nothing to do with hating or despising the world and its material goods and neither are they ways of punishing ourselves.

“Fasting is food for the soul and nourishment for the spirit. When Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days, he did so in order to clarify his relationship with God and the nature of his calling. To face inner temptation, he needed to explore how he stood in relation to material needs and worldly power, to affirm his ultimate trust in God,” said the Canon.

Peter Baker, a christian based in Cardiff, told Cardiff News Plus that he hopes for the strengthening of the church during the season, with the church facing various accusations.

“I am praying for the renewal and revival of the church. For the past year, there has been some great scandals in the church in various places in the world so this year I will be praying for the leaders and the church,” said Mr Baker.

As for Ashley Kalsina, a Cardiff resident, she hopes to sacrifice the amount of food she eats as she focuses on helping the needy during this season.

“I will be taking up various charitable initiatives as well as giving up the big meals I eat and reducing the amount of my diet,” said Mrs Kalsina.




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