Few days ago, I had shared about Ash Wednesday. But recently I came to know that there are many more days which are observed by Christians which are hardly known by any, so here a little input on all.
Why 40 days?
The number forty has many Biblical references:
the forty days Moses spent on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18)
the forty days and nights Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8)
the forty days and nights God sent rain in the great flood of Noah (Genesis 7:4)
the forty years the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while traveling to the Promised Land (Numbers 14:33)
the forty days Jonah in his prophecy of judgment gave the city of Nineveh in which to repent (Jonah 3:4).
Jesus retreated into the wilderness, where he fasted for forty days, and was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-2, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-2). He overcame all three of Satan’s temptations by citing scripture to the devil, at which point the devil left him, angels ministered to Jesus, and he began his ministry. Jesus further said that his disciples should fast “when the bridegroom shall be taken from them” (Matthew 9:15), a reference to his Passion. Since, presumably, the Apostles fasted as they mourned the death of Jesus, Christians have traditionally fasted during the annual commemoration of his burial.
So now that very much clears why 40 days.
The other days during the Lenten Season:
The Sunday before Easter in the Christian Calendar, and the last Sunday in the lent, also the first day of the Holy Week.
On this day, the Christians recalls the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem riding upon an ass, while his followers shouted
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
and scattered palms and their cloaks in his path.
Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday
The night of the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples.
On this day, the Christians celebrate Jesus’ last supper before his execution. It is the day when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and showed them how to serve others as he had served them. Jesus being a Teacher to the disciples showed how humble one has to be to his fellow men.
Good Friday/Holy Friday
This day primarily all Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
A day of Fasting and prayer is held throughout by all Christians. There is no Service or Mass held in the Churches, between the Holy Thursday, till the Easter Vigil. During this time, the Crosses, Candle sticks, and Altar clothes are removed from the altar, which completely remain bare. Also no bells are rung during this time. A small liturgy is held to recall the evens that took place, by the Word of God and the Way of the Cross.
Holy Saturday (the Angelic Night, The Easter Vigil)
On this Day the Christians world wide celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. A service is held in all churches, and all people are re-baptized, by lighting the Paschal Candle, that symbolises, to leading us out of darkness into celebration of the Light, the Easter Vigil. The service and celebration is held before the sunrise of the Easter day since its considered in Christian tradition, the first celebration of Easter Day.
The vigil consists of Four parts:
The service of Light
The Liturgy of Word
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
And thus sharing these few inputs, which concludes the Lenten season.
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