By: Dr. Don Kuehle Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “lencten” and the German word “lenz”, and refers to the Spring-time of the year when the days begin to “lengthen.” Lent, for the Christian community, is that 40-day season NOT counting Sundays leading up to Easter. Originally, the faithful were required to fast and pray for 40 hours in preparation for Easter; 40 hours representing the length of time between Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Later, this time of preparation was extended to 6 days. Much later, the candidates for Church membership were required to fast, and pray, and confess their sins during the 40 days before they were allowed to join the Church on Easter Sunday! Lent, as we observe it today, dates from the 9th century. Current practice includes fasting, prayer, confession of sins, and the giving up of something important during Lent.