The Season of Lent is a penitential time of the year in which we prepare to celebrate Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, some 46 Days before Easter. As the Sundays of Lent are generally excluded from fasting, Lent is said to last 40 Days, which is the amount of time our Lord spent in the desert after his Baptism before beginning his ministry.
Certain elements of our worship are changed or cease during Lent as it is a penitential season.
- Alleluias, normally chanted before the Gospel, have (since Septuagesima Sunday) been replaced by another type of chant called a Tract,
- Gloria in excelsis Deo ceases to be sung beginning on Ash Wednesday,
- Bells are not to be rung, and are replaced by a wooden knock,
- Gloria Patris cease to be sung as part of the Introit Chant on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, also called Passion Sunday, and
- Crucifixes, Icons, and other fixtures in the Church will have purple veils placed over them starting on Passion Sunday.
As well, purple vestments and paraments are used until Palm Sunday, and Asperges will not be done.
Lent arguably contains two sub-seasons which end the evening before Easter Sunday
- Passiontide, which runs from Passion Sunday, and
- Holy Week, which starts on Palm Sunday