The Season of Lent at Xavier

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Jolie Morrison

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The Season of Lent at Xavier

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Following the Liturgical Calendar for the Diocese of the United States of America, the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday. This year, Lent began on Wednesday, March 6th and will end Saturday, April 20th, one day before Easter Sunday. Derived from the Anglo Saxon word ‘lencten’, meaning spring, this is a period of reflection, fasting,  and penance practiced by Christians as a means of hearing God’s word clearly and devoting time towards prayer. Paying respect to Jesus and his sacrifices on Earth, the season of Lent is elapsed over forty days, symbolic of Jesus’ time in the Judean Desert in preparation for his ministry. Today, many Christians celebrate Lent by giving up luxuries such as coffee, junk-foods, or video games while others volunteer their time working with the less fortunate. Though perceived and often used as a time to reinstate failed New Year’s resolutions, the season of Lent offers a unique period in which individuals may prepare for the resurrection of Christ while straying from temptations.

In preparation for this period, Xavier held a school-wide prayer service on Ash Wednesday. Here, Father Jack led students through a series of reflections and welcomed those who were interested to receive a cross of ashes on their forehead. Fashioned from the ashes of the previous year’s Palm Sunday, the ashes are a reminder of our own impending death, reaffirming faith in God and allowing for a fresh start. Following communion, Student Jillian Whitcomb and Faculty members Josh Stevens and Bettina Riddle spoke intimately about what this time means to them, allowing insight to various traditions associated with their backgrounds.

Senior Taylor Hogan, RenWeb photo

Prior to Ash Wednesday, Xavier students ate one last gumdrop, played one final game, and enjoyed the last few moments with the items they’d be volunteering to give up this Lenten Season. Senior Taylor Hogan, who actively celebrates Lent, has spent past years following both the Catholic and her family’s tradition of giving up an item and not eating meat on Fridays. When asked which items she’d be giving up this season, Taylor replied, “Candy. I’ve decided to give up all forms of  candy due to the fact that it is something I enjoy indulging in and know it is unnecessary to eat.” While using this time to cut back on her candy intake, Taylor also believes that giving up an item during these forty days allows for the individual to grow and learn to appreciate the items God has placed in our lives.

Junior, Anthony Castro, RenWeb photo.

Whether used as a period for reaffirming failed New Year’s resolutions or for cutting back on candy intake, the Season of Lent engenders a unique period in which individuals are compelled to serve others. Anthony Castro, a Junior, identifies as Agnostic, yet spends time during Lent reaching out to his community. “During Lent, I try to be kind and respectful to those around me. I love seeing everyone attempting to become better versions of themselves and if I can help in any way possible, I do.” Though not a direct follower of the Catholic faith, Anthony understands the deep importance this season has to his schoolmates.

 

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