Plenty of people observe the Easter season by reading their Bible more than usual, making sure to get to church on the important days and of course giving up something from their normal routine for Lent.
It’s a solemn time in the liturgical calendar, as Christians across the country and around the world consider the sacrifice made by their savior Jesus Christ, who was tempted by the devil, brutally beaten by Roman soldiers and nailed to a wooden cross.
Of course, the Bible also says Jesus rose from the dead after three days and ascended into heaven. It can be a very emotional time for devotees.
A 2017 poll from Lifeway found that about a quarter of Americans observe Lent. That includes 61% of Catholics and 20% of Protestants.
Not everyone observes Lent by giving up something for 40 days, but for those who do, there are plenty of top-10 lists online to spark ideas. That can be especially helpful for people who want to do something but aren’t sure exactly what. Still, there might be a way out of this dilemma.
Some people believe it’s not enough to only observe and think about the meaning of Ash Wednesday, Lent, Easter and so on as those days arrive. For some, it takes time beforehand to spiritually prepare for the season.
Pamela Stallworth said she prays more before Lent as she tries to figure out what she’s going to do.
“Otherwise you just randomly pick something to do for Lent if you don’t sit down and think about what it is you want to achieve,” she said.
Stallworth, 55, is Catholic and said she prays the rosary every day after work during Lent and reflects on her day. It’s during the praying beforehand when she figures out what she’s going to give up, though Stallworth said she hasn’t yet decided what she’ll give up this year.
Taking time to prepare for the season isn’t very common, Stallworth said, but thinks it’s a good idea because it “prepares you mentally.”
Kelly Birdsong-Hill said it’s important to prepare for the season because a lot of people who observe Lent end up deviating in some way from the life they live the rest of the year, whether it’s giving up a certain food or not using social media.
As someone who gives up a certain food for Lent, Birdsong-Hill, 55, said she’s constantly reminding herself that “you eat to live, you don’t live to eat.”
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.