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Easter 2016: How Christians Observe Lent in Preparation for Christ’s Death and Resurrection

( [email protected] ) Feb 12, 2016 01:23 PM EST
After getting marked with ash this Ash Wednesday, Christians have begun to prepare for Easter Sunday to be celebrated on March 27. As we enter the season of Lent, it is expected that believers will carry out actions and behaviors in a penitential manner by fasting, or abstinence, such as giving up certain habits.
Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican last March. (Image credit: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters)
Giampiero Sposito / Reuters

After getting marked with ash this Ash Wednesday, Christians have begun to prepare for Easter Sunday to be celebrated on March 27. As we enter the season of Lent, it is expected that believers will carry out actions and behaviors in a penitential manner by fasting, or abstinence, such as giving up certain habits.

As prayer and fasting are deemed essential to one’s Lenten journey to Easter, it is of great importance to reflect on our weaknesses, show sorrow for our faults and pray for God’s forgiveness.

As a united Christian community, it is time for the people of God- the Church- to come together and put itself in the right state to carry on with the preparation for Easter.

Families often try to involve all members in the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection; traditionally, the young ones are encouraged to make cards and bookmarks using an Easter theme to be given to their loved ones.

Apt videos and films about Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection can be watched by all family members as well.

People can go along to their local Church and offer some help for the activities, such as placing flowers at the foot of the cross on the morning of Holy Friday. This is often made as decoration for the tomb in time for Christ’s burial and funeral from Friday afternoon until evening.

More importantly, getting in touch with the Easter Spirit should be observed during this time. Showing love, kindness and understanding toward others is a favorable way of being at peace with them and with one’s self. While waiting at Church or in other public places during Holy Week, such as in taking Holy Communion, it is necessary to allow plenty of time for one’s self and become more sympathetic towards the elderly, the sick as well as the parents of young children with them.

Also, it is crucial that the week before Easter is truly made holy, hence the need to make an effort in replacing one’s favorite things with more spiritual alternatives. These include listening more to Church songs rather than trendy songs or picking up the Holy Bible and other literary works related to Lent and Easter instead of popular magazines.

It can also be helpful to avoid going to shopping malls and finding entertainment in material things, games and the like. Preparing for Christ’s resurrection can also be carried out by giving up idle conversations and gossiping as well as harsh criticisms of others. Prayer and fasting are better alternatives to putting one’s self in the right state of mind during the Lenten season.

Moreover, going to confession and asking for forgiveness are essential to recognize one’s fault and acknowledge the mistake of distancing him or herself from God. Therefore, it is highly important to try to come closer to Him by refreshing the body and the soul. Only then will individuals understand the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice as well as his triumph over sin and death through the Resurrection.

Tags : Easter Sunday, Easter Sunday 2016, Easter 2016, Lent season, Ash Wednesday 2016