The True Meaning of Lent and Ash Wednesday

The Meaning of Lent

Let’s talk about the meaning of Lent. The word “lent” comes from an English word that means “spring” and the Latin word for “forty.”

The 40 days before Easter Sunday is Lent in the Catholic tradition. It’s where you give up frivolous extra luxuries such as greasy food, alcohol, meat, Instagram, partying. It’s supposed to be very solemn and boring.

Our church, Hale Ho’onani, also celebrates Lent. And we do it better.

In the Catholic tradition, Lent is a time of mourning cuz in the Christian tradition— you’re not worthy!

In the Hale Ho’onani AME – African Methodist Episcopal tradition, Lent is a time of honoring that we are more than worthy enough. To honor our worthiness, we still give up something. But what will we give up?

It has to be something that celebrates Lent. In other words, it has to celebrate our worthiness. For example, Dora is giving up talking to stupid people. Someone else is giving up trolling his ex on social media.

What do you want to give up?

Write in your journal what you’re giving up for Lent. Here’s a hint: Give up something that makes you feel “less than” or not worthy of someone else’s time or attention. Please write in your journal:

To honor my worthiness for Lent, I give up __________ for Lent.

The Meaning of Ash Wednesday

Now, let’s talk about the meaning of Ash Wednesday. March 2 was Ash Wednesday, which is 46 days before Easter.

It is also called the Day of Ashes. It’s where you put a little bit of ash in the shape of a cross on your forehead, to remind yourself that “from dust you came and to dust you shall return.”

Science can confirm that we are actually made from Stardust. In other words, “From star dust you came and to star dust, you shall return.” We are made of Stardust and we are also made of starlight.

Right now, we are going to put ashes of star dust on ourselves or our sacred object.

If you have a teddy bear, you can do this on her or him. If you have a photograph of yourself, do it to your photograph. If you don’t have any sacred object, then you will use your own forehead.

STEP 1: I want you to take your teddy bear or sacred object or your own forehead, kiss your finger and then draw on his forehead a little heart, a star or a cross on his forehead.

STEP 2: If you don’t have a teddy bear, put your hand over your heart, for this next part… Repeat after me:

You are from the stars and to the stars you shall return.

You are my star.

You remind me that I was your first true love,

And I was God’s first true love.

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