I thought I’d set a quiz this month.
How much do you know about Lent? Pick the correct answer…
1. The word Lent is derived from…
a) the “Old English lencten meaning springtime, spring”
b) Jesus told us to “Lend your hearts to doing good at this time.”
c) The Church lent out Bibles to the poor leading up to Easter.
2. How many days are there in Lent?
3. If that number is correct, why are there actually more days between Ash Wednesday, when Lent starts and Easter Sunday, when it finishes?
a) Sundays are celebration days so we should only fast 6 days a week.
b) Lent finishes on the Monday before Easter Sunday - we shouldn’t fast during Holy Week?
c) In 1756 the calendar was changed from the Gregorian calendar to the Julian calendar and hence we added extra days.
4. What is meant to happen during Lent?
a) We are meant to give money to charity during this time.
b) We are meant to give up eating some of our favourite foods.
c) We are meant to fast and pray.
5. Is Lent a bit like making New Year Resolutions?
a) Yes, we try to self improve in both of these.
b) Yes, in both we set ourselves goals.
c) No, Lent has nothing to do with self-improvement unlike New Year Resolutions.
6. What should we give up during Lent?
7. Which of these prayers should we pray every day during Lent?
a) The Lord’s Prayer - Our Father who art in Heaven…’
b) Lord have mercy.
c) ‘Lord I know I gave up chocolate but I only ate a little bit.’
1a - Lent comes from the Old English for Spring - I wonder what they call Lent in Australia!
2b - Lent is 40 days long
3a - Who knew this!! The time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday is 46 days - but we don’t fast on the 6 Sundays.
4c - Fasting and praying - so that our faith is stronger. I imagine it’s like a yearly intensive course to know God better so we can trust in God’s goodness more.
5c - Lent hasn’t got anything to do with strengthening our own self-will. It’s more to do with finding out what God is like. Hence we fast which helps us pray in a more concentrated way (or that’s the theory).
6a, b or c - Anything which stops us being the people God wants us to be, we should attend to - with help if necessary (AA, counselling, Slimmers World etc). But this is a long term goal not just for Lent. God loves fat people as well as thin people!
7b - Of course, any prayer can be prayed during Lent but ‘holy men and women’ have found that knowing more about God makes us realise how loved we are yet also how sinful we are. Therefore - ‘Lord have mercy’ is a good Lenten prayer.
Revd. Jan Ashton Vicar of Hightown, Liverpool. Telephone: 0151 929 3971 Email Me Here