In celebration of Ash Wednesday 2018, Jonathan Randall Grant, of the Urban Village Church, rubs ashes on the forehead of a commuter outside of a subway station in the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images Advertisement An informal annual Twitter users poll (based on more than 1,000 tweets) finds that the top three things people are giving up for Lent in 2019 are “social media,” “alcohol” and “Twitter.” These were also the top vote-getters in 2018. But what is Lent anyway? And what are the rules around giving up something and why? Why Lent? The word “Lent” is derived from an old English word meaning “spring” and is a period of penance and abstinence observed by many Christians. Lent usually begins on Ash Wednesday (itself a different date every year) and ends on Holy Thursday (the day before Good Friday when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion). That’s a period of 40 days if you don’t count Sundays. Lent is an homage to Jesus’s 40 days spent fasting in the desert in preparation for his ministry on Earth. The purpose of observing Lent is for Christians to prepare for the coming of Easter by getting closer to God and… Read full this story
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