What is Lent?

What are your priorities in life right now? Lent is an invitation to rearrange your priorities—to focus on what matters most and leave behind what matters least.

Lent is the season where the Church prepares for Easter. Starting with Ash Wednesday, Lent spans 40+ days until Holy Thursday. In the fourth chapter of Matthew, Jesus spends 40 days in the desert, fasting, praying, and preparing for his mission. Lent is your opportunity for that same focus.

Lent is your invitation to take your spiritual life seriously.
Lent is the perfect time to form life-giving habits and abandon self-destructive habits.
Lent is your chance to discover the abundant life Jesus invites us to at Easter.

Take these 40 days to explore God’s dream for your life and it will change everything. Are you ready?

When Does Lent Start?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2025.

Traditional Lenten Practices

We all need a fresh start from time to time. And Lent is the perfect time to embark on that journey.

Maybe you need a fresh start in your personal finances, or perhaps you need a fresh start in your marriage. Maybe you need a fresh start in a relationship with a child or a parent, or possibly you need a fresh start in your health and well-being. It could even be that you need a fresh start in your career.

For generations, Catholics have developed different traditions that help them make a new beginning during Lent. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Give Something Up: Many Catholics “give up” something for the entire Lenten season. A classic example is giving up chocolate, but you don’t have to stop there! You could give up negative thinking, speaking poorly about others, or procrastinating. You could also make a positive swap: like praying the Rosary instead of watching TV, or reading an amazing Catholic book instead of scrolling through social media.

  2. Join a Spiritual Challenge: One of the simplest ways to transform your Lent is to join other Catholics for a spiritual challenge. You could create a small challenge with your friends, sign up for a local Bible study, or join nearly one million Catholics for BEST LENT EVER—a FREE Lenten video program with Matthew Kelly. Sign up here.

  3. Deepen Your Prayer: Catholics often will say special Lenten prayers. One of the most popular spiritual practices during Lent is the Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross is one of the most simple, yet powerful, ways to prayerfully walk alongside Jesus during his Passion…and encounter him like never before. Click here to learn more about Stations of the Cross.

  4. Attend a Fish Fry: One delicious Catholic tradition is hosting a fish fry. Since Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, many parishes have a pescetarian meal together on Fridays—often inviting the larger community to participate too. See if a parish near you has a fish fry and take the opportunity to engage with your community!

Our God loves fresh starts. How is he inviting you to a fresh start this Lent?

The Significance of Lenten Colors

There is incredible genius and beauty in Catholicism, even in the smallest of details. One of those small details is the significance of colors throughout Lent.

When you visit a Catholic church, attend Mass, or pray the Stations of the Cross, you’ll notice certain colors repeated in the decorations and the priest’s vestments. Each one of these colors holds great meaning.

Purple: Purple is the primary color of Lent. Starting on Ash Wednesday, the priest will wear purple vestments and every statue or painting will be covered with a deep purple cloth. The color purple symbolizes our need for repentance. It also represents the purple robe that Pontius Pilate placed on Jesus before he was crucified and reminds us of the royalty of Jesus as King.

Red: On Palm Sunday, the priest wears bright red vestments during Mass. This foreshadows Jesus' death on the Cross.

White: On Easter, priests wear white vestments and many parishes will fill the entire altar with white lilies. White represents the joy of Jesus’ resurrection.

The colors used during Lent enhance the spiritual experience, evoking emotions and providing visual reminders of the central themes of Jesus’ suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph over death—especially during Holy Week. If you want to learn more about the deep meaning of Holy Week, click here!

Learn More About Lent

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