Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
As the season of Lent began yesterday, thousands around the world are expected to 'give up something', in observance of the period in which Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Assistant professor, College of Education and Leadership at Northern Caribbean University, Dr Denton Rhone said the world's culture is indebted to the Church for creating the concept of Lent.
Lent is a call to the human family to take some time out of each year to focus on the journey and activities of the last 40 days of the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the last 40 days leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection," said Rhone.
He stressed, however, that caution must be taken that the true meaning of this period is not lost but is maximised in personal acceptance and application of Christ's acts of grace towards the ultimate transformation of the world into a better place.
But Pastor Errol Bolt of the Kencot Christian Fellowship, St Andrew, said neither himself nor his congregation observe Lent.
"I don't know of anything in the Bible or scripture which obligates us to Lent. Christians are called upon to live a Christian life daily. I don't subscribe to Lent, but we do remember the Lord. Those who do it are free in their conscience to do it," said Bolt.
Roman Catholic priest Father Richard Ho Lung said it was a period when the people reflect on the crucifixion of Christ.
"Only He knew how He suffered for the sins of mankind. It is what we call redemptive suffering, which makes us unite with Christ in His persecution," said Ho Lung.