As Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday, Christian leaders and ministers from various theological streams are commenting on its significance and what humanity might do to participate in it.
The season is a penitential time in the life of the Christian Church and is the 40-day lead-up, Sabbath days excepting, to Easter. Many Christians pick something to go without during this season, practice a kind of fasting, or add on another spiritual discipline that’s outside of their norm.
The season allows Christians to replicate in a practical way the sacrifice of Christ when He withdrew to the desert for 40 days.
Easter Sunday occurs this year on April 12.
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Lenten disciplines and practices vary by denomination but the observance of the season is more formal in the Roman Catholic Church and in Protestant congregations that are more liturgical.
Here are how several Christians figures and others are marking this season.