The Christian Season of Lent comes early this year, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6th and culminating with Easter Sunday on March 23rd. The Lenten season lasts for forty-days excluding Sundays because Sundays are days of celebrating the Lord’s resurrection. The forty-days are symbolic. The number “forty” is repeatedly used throughout biblical events but more significantly with the forty-days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

Lent, derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “Lencten” meaning springtime, prepares Christians to celebrate God’s marvelous redemption at Easter and the hope found in Christ’s resurrection. It’s a time for soul-searching and repentance. It’s a time for Christians to remember their sins from the past, express their sorrow as they seek forgiveness, and focus on their need for God’s continued grace. For many, Lent is a time for self-examination, reflection, prayer, and fasting.

Many churches host prayer vigils, Bible studies, and special services throughout the Lenten Season. Ash Wednesday Services are especially meaningful and are held by churches around the world as Christians prepare to enter the period of forty-days. Intended to be a time for reflection and repentance, the service usually combines a pastoral message, prayers, and serene music in a candlelit setting. These elements help provide an opportunity for worshippers to commune with God on a more intimate level. At the end of the service, ashes are applied to the foreheads of worshippers in the sign of a cross. Participants then depart from the service wearing ashen crosses as visible reminders of a sinful nature, a humble and repentant heart, and the gift of forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.

You are invited to participate in an Ash Wednesday Service at Faith United Methodist Church, 2906 Western Ave., Orange, on Feb. 6th at 6 p.m. 

Another Lenten opportunity, a weekly Prayer Service, will begin on Thursday, Feb. 7th at 6 p.m. and will continue on Thursdays throughout the Season of Lent. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend both of these wonderful and meaningful events. Nursery will be provided. 

For information about or directions to Faith UMC, please visit or contact the church office at (409) 886-1291.