Christians observe 40 days of Lent

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 07 Mar 2019

Holy day: The blessing and distribution of ash during mass on Ash Wednesday at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: The solemn season of Lent began with Christians packing various churches for evening mass to mark Ash Wednesday.

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Macalister Road was packed to the brim with close to a 1,000 parishioners.

Madeline Yap, 55, from Sungai Petani, said she had been observing the 40-day fasting period over the past 20 years.

She said she decided to attend mass at the church as she was visiting some friends here.

“I make it a point to fast with only a drink in the morning and pray throughout the day.

“I will only break fast in the evening at 6pm. But there is no rigid practice as it is a period of abstinence from anything be it food, drinks or entertainment,” she said.

A. Arulando, 74, said he has been observing Lent for 15 years.

“During this period, I only take two meals a day and refrain from eating meat.

“I also spend more time praying and do not consume alcohol,” he added.

Monsignor Aloysious Tan presided over mass in front of a full congregation. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lent season for Christians.

On this day, in the Catholic church, priests place on the foreheads of parishioners ash in the shape of a cross.

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation as Christians fast for 40 days, culminating in the celebration of the Holy Week that reaches its climax with Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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