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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Lent is the solemn, reflective season of the liturgical year that is the preparation for the mysteries of Easter.  It begins on Ash Wednesday, and lasts for forty days, until Easer.  The forty days of Lent do not include the Sundays of Lent for every Sunday is seen as an Easter. On Ash Wednesday people gather at Church to receive ashes on their foreheads, as a sign that they are entering into a season that will consist of fasting, pray and almsgiving, all of which is intended to assist the faithful to recognize their yearning for God in a more intense manner than at other parts of the year.  The forty days of Lent recall the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry and also recalls the forty years that Israelites traveled through the desert as they made their way to the Promised Land.  As mentioned above the three distinctive practices of the faithful during the season of Lent are fasting (abstention of various foods in order to provide for the poor (alms-giving) and an increase in daily prayer practices. This season is symbolized by a deep purple color for the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth Sundays of Lent. The fourth Sunday of Lent is symbolized by rose or pink colors.


Cross on a hill

Build. Plant. Grow. provides catechetical instruction for children based on the Sunday readings of the Christian Church during the period beginning with Advent up to and including the closure of the liturgical year with the Feast of Christ the King. These readings from the Lectionary are divided into three-year cycles

Lesson plans include a short exegesis of the readings, application to a children's book, and the virtue that is common to the Bible readings and the children's book, activities to extend the understanding of the virtue, practical advice for incorporating the virtue in an age-appropriate manner. Examples of the children's books include such favorites as Horton Hatches the Egg and Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You.