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A season of repentance, a season of hope

A season of repentance, a season of hope

Easter and the season leading up to it represent much more than colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. In the seasons of Lent and Easter, the church focuses on remembering, retelling and participating in the story of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lent, the period of 40 days before Easter (excluding Sundays), begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Saturday, the evening before Easter.

Keystone UMC's large outdoor cross draped in purple
United Methodist churches like Keystone UMC, Keystone Heights, find ways to remind passers-by of the Lenten season. 2013 photo by Susan Green.

During Lent, we enter into a season of preparation, self-reflection and repentance when we seek to literally “turn around” and realign our lives and focus toward God. It is a time to give up things as well as take on new life-giving practices, helping us rid ourselves of distractions and our own selfish desires. By doing so, we seek to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Easter Season, also known as Eastertide or the Great Fifty Days, begins on Easter Day and ends on Pentecost. Focusing on Christ's resurrection and ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), Eastertide is the most joyous and celebrative season of the Christian year. We celebrate the good news that in Christ’s death and resurrection we, and all creation, are continually being made new by God’s love and saving grace.

Click here for local church resources, including new Lenten studies from United Methodist agencies.

The Rethink Church campaign of United Methodist Communications is offering free resources for congregations that want to reach outside their walls with the message of the season. Click here to see options. Customized direct-mail cards must be ordered March 9. Videos that can be customized for your church website or social media platforms must be ordered by March 23.