The Origins of Lent
The tradition of Lent can be traced back to the 2nd century. During this time, new Christians would prepare for baptism by fasting and studying. By the year 325 AD, the time of preparation had been extended to 40 days. Entire congregations, including those already baptized, practiced Lenten disciplines as a sign of Christian discipleship. Soon after, the church determined that the Lenten period of renewal should correspond to Christ’s forty-day fast. These Christians counted forty days back from Easter (excluding Sundays), to determine the time frame of the Lenten journey.