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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The Heritage of Lent

As we come to an end of the 2024 Lent, its important to know about the time honored tradition.

Lent is an ancient tradition that Christian’s follow every year. “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It all began with 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, which is why Lent lasts for 40 days. This period of time is all about preparing for Easter, symbolizing the time Jesus prepared for his ministry and the suffering that he went through. 


“I feel good when I follow Lenten practice because it’s one of the smaller things we can do to make us feel closer to Jesus,” said Cathy Sutphin, Sunday school teacher at Good Shepard Church in Alexandria. 


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In today’s time many people celebrate Lent to bring them closer to Jesus and experience his pain and suffering that he felt on the cross. During Lent the way you show your suffering just like Jesus suffered is by giving up something for 40 days. Followers of Lent can give up an action, food, or drink. 


Since Jesus sacrificed his flesh on Good Friday, Catholics refrain from eating flesh meat in his honor on Fridays.


“The reason why I follow Lent is to get closer to Jesus and also it gives a look into other people’s experiences,” Erin Andreas, freshman, said. 


Lent is a period of penitential preparation for the Christian feast of Easter. In the early days of Christianity, Lent was a time for new converts to get ready for their baptism on Easter.  It was also when those who had committed serious sins and had been separated from the community did penance. By the fourth century, it became more formalized, and all Christians were encouraged to take part in fasting and penance. It also is a way to give back to other people and to help people in need. 


“I’ve been participating in Lent for years now and I’ve had mixed opinions on it. It gets really hard, especially in the last week, but thinking about why I participate in Lent pushes me through it,” Ethan Hancock, freshman, said. 


The last week of Lent is called Holy week. It starts with Palm Sunday, and one of the hardest weeks to follow. Thursday commemorates the Last Supper on Maundy. Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, and finally his resurrection on Easter Sunday. It’s the most solemn and reflective part of the season. Easter Sunday is the reason why Christians follow Lent. “ I feel the last week of Lent is one of the hardest to follow because there’s many temptations and things to follow,” Cathy Sutphin, Sunday school teacher at Good Shepherd church in Alexandria, said. 


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