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Lent 2019: Wednesday 6 March to Thursday 18 April

Lent is a time when Christians remember the 40 days and nights Jesus spent alone in the desert without food, being tempted by the Devil. Jesus used this time to prepare for His work by fasting and praying.

The weeks of Lent were once the time when new Christians, who were to be baptized on Easter Eve, were taught about the Christian faith and life. Those who had already been baptized thought again about the promises they had once made and promise to be true to them. Lent was a time for spring-cleaning lives, as well as homes.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Pancake Day, six and a half weeks before Easter Day. The last week of Lent begins with Palm Sunday, which celebrates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and the people lay down palms at his feet. Lent ends the day before Easter Sunday, which is known as Holy Saturday. Sundays are not counted in the forty days.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord's Supper.

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