You’ll find more information about the Season of Epiphany & the Liturgical Calendar below.
Early Christians observed “a season of penitence and fasting” in preparation for the Paschal
feast, or Pascha (BCP, pp. 264-265). The season now known as Lent (from an Old English word
meaning “spring,” the time of lengthening days) has a long history. Originally, in places where
Pascha was celebrated on a Sunday, the Paschal feast followed a fast of up to two days. In the
third century this fast was lengthened to six days. Eventually this fast became attached to, or
overlapped, another fast of forty days, in imitation of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. The
forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism,
and for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly. In the
western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday,
omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday,
Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final
preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited “to the
observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-
denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (BCP, p. 265).
“Liturgical Colors” in Episcopal worship signify our place in the Church Year:
PURPLE/VIOLET for Advent (or ROYAL BLUE) & Lent (or UNBLEACHED LINEN).
Collect Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent:
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to
help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us,
let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Book of Common
Prayer, page 218)