The word “lent” stems from the Middle English for “lengthen”, referring to the lengthening of days as dark winter lifts and the re-birth of spring approaches. To the Christian world, the Lenten season is a time of reflection, repentance, and re-commitment as we progress from darkness (being un-reconciled to God) to light (being reconciled and at one with God.)
The season of Lent encompasses the forty non-Sunday days between Ash Wednesday and Crucifixion (Good) Friday. The symbolism of forty days parallels Christ’s forty days of fasting and preparation before beginning His earthly ministry.
Traditionally, Lent is a season to re-dedicate ourselves, using three aspects of practical faith:
- Prayer: renewing and expanding our relationship with God;
- Alms-giving: showing compassion and charity to others by giving of our time and resources with an attitude of humility and Christ-like love;
- Fasting: personal sacrifice and repentance to prepare ourselves for re-dedication to our baptismal covenants. The sacrifice of fasting does not just involve abstaining from food, though that may be a component of your chosen fast. It might include abstaining from a particular activity that has been distracting you from the pursuit of Godly things, or making a concerted effort to replace a sinful behavior with a Godly one.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of they tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:1-3, 9-10
We have been counseled by living Prophets that we should retain all truth, and add to it the light of the Restoration. With that in mind, celebrating the dedicatory season of Lent has the capacity to deepen our appreciation of Heavenly Father’s plan for us, and our commitment to Him.
The Lenten Lights could be done as one reading per week leading up to Easter, or as one reading per day of the week leading up to Easter, depending on the needs of your own household. To complete them in the week before Easter, plan to begin the Saturday before Palm Sunday (eight days before Easter Sunday.) That gives you a few days yet to gather a few very simple supplies, and download the complete instructions and readings here.
This series of short daily devotionals walks the household through our need for a Savior and an Atonement, and the miracles of God’s love for us. Each reading has three aspects:
- Foundation: truths established in pre-mortal and early earth times;
- Foreshadowing: symbols manifest through the experiences of God’s peoples that foreshadow Christ;
- Fulfillment: Christ’s perfect fulfillment of God’s plan.
The free pdf download of my Lenten Lights readings are covered by copyright; you’re welcome to print or copy extras for household, extended family, or church use.
If you’re looking for last year’s simplified Passover meal and Haggadah, you’ll find it here.
I hope you’ll have a contemplative and joyous Easter season!