PLEASE JOIN THE EKKLESIA EPIGNOSTIKA SEMINARY IN ITS OBSERVATION OF THE LENTEN SEASON
AND THE HOLY WEEK
RESOURCES FOR THE LENTEN SEASON 2021
Lent begins each year on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. This year Lent will start on February 17th, 2021; and if you are following the 40 days tradition, Lent will then end on Holy Saturday, April 3rd, 2021.
IMPORTANT DATES DURING THE LENTEN SEASON 2021
Ash Wednesday: February 17, 2021
Passion Sunday: March 21, 2021
Palm Sunday: March 28, 2021
Holy Monday: March 29, 2021
Holy Tuesday: March 30, 2021
Holy Wednesday: March 31, 2021
Maundy Thursday: April 1, 2021
Good Friday: April 2, 2021
Holy Saturday: April 3, 2021
Easter (Pascha) Sunday: April 4, 2021
AN OVERVIEW OF THE MEANING BEHIND SOME OF THE LENTEN SEASON RITUALS
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the season of Lent, 40 days before Easter (minus Sundays, which are not included in Lent). Ashes may be placed on the forehead at Ash Wednesday services as an outward expression of the need to begin again the work of turning from sin and toward God. During Lent, Christians observe a period of repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Within a few days, however, everything had changed. On Thursday, Jesus shared a last meal with his disciples, the Jewish Passover Seder, commemorating the exodus of Jews from Egypt. Jesus told the disciples that the bread and the wine were his body and his blood, and they should use these to remember him. The next day, according to the Gospels, Jesus was crucified. Maundy Thursday services usually include communion, and many also include ceremonial foot- or hand-washing, symbolic of Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet that night.
The Tenebrae Service, sometimes combined with the Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service, uses diminishing light to symbolize the events of from Palm Sunday through Jesus’ death and entombment.
Good Friday marks the day Jesus was crucified and, according to the Gospels, willingly suffered and died for human sin. Two days later, on Easter Sunday, according to scripture, he was resurrected. Easter, a moveable feast, is Christianity’s most important holiday. Many churches celebrate with an Easter Sunrise service, to mark the empty tomb that greeted Mary as dawn broke on Easter morning.
The 14 Stations of the Cross retrace the journey Jesus took from the time he was condemned to death until his body was laid in the tomb and, in Protestant versions, was resurrected.
The Easter Prayer Vigil, or Paschal Vigil or Great Vigil of Easter, is the first official celebration of the resurrection, beginning at sunset on Saturday before Easter Sunday. Some churches light an Easter Fire at this time, and use that to light the paschal candle, symbolizing Jesus’ resurrection. Some hold a scripted prayer service while others offer prayer vigils through the night, until the worship service on Easter morning.
WE EXTEND OUR HEARTFELT THANKS AND DEEP GRATITUDE TO THE MOST REVEREND SOPHIA ANGELA DEBRY, S.T.L., Th.D., D.D. FOR PREPARING US TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.