About Lent & Easter
Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It reminds us of the triumph of good over wrong, love and life over violence and death. It is the celebration of Christ as our eternal Advocate and Savior. It is a day on which we remember that we receive new life now and in the life to come from Christ, who rose from the dead.
What is the meaning of Lent?
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal/Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday (called Clean Monday) and Ash Wednesday is not observed.

For those who do observe, Lent provides a time for us to reflect on our discipleship and the aspects of our lives that may deter us from our relationship with God, and from being the kind of people God has called us to be. We deepen our relationship with God and all of God’s creation, seeking to be better stewards.

What is the meaning of Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is a day of walking humbly with God..   The ashes that are smeared on our foreheads acknowledges our mortality with the words, “Remember, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” They are a reminder that we return to the earth and are intimately connected with all of Creation. The Ash Wednesday liturgy acknowledges the broken relationship between us and God as a result of sin and provides a time for repentance and renewal. But it does all this with an eye on the future: our redemption by Jesus Christ.

The future lies in the hands of God. God has provided a way out of the “dust and ashes” of wrong actions we have chosen, a way forward, into something better. We hear the essentials of what God has provided in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5: “We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

So, Ash Wednesday gives us a yearly calendared opportunity to begin bringing our lives into alignment with God’s purpose for us. The opportunity lasts through the entire Lenten season.

How is Lent-Easter Celebrated at MUMC?
Here at MUMC there are several events celebrated during the Lenten Season culminating with our traditional Holy Week Schedule of services and events.
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – A feast sponsored by a church family and the Youth Group on the Tuesday evening before Ash Wednesday.
  •  Ash Wednesday Service – A somber evening service at the beginning of Lent recognizing our sinfulness and the need for God’s Grace.
  • Tuesdays: Community Ecumenical Services – Each Tuesday evening during Lent, the churches of different denominations in the local community gather for their annual series of ecumenical services.   These services provide a wonderful opportunity to share the season with others while celebrating the diversity of our traditions.
  • Palm Sunday –  On Palm Sunday we join Christians worldwide to celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection.  Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.
  • Maundy Thursday – Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day that commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.  It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is followed by Good Friday.  Worship includes sharing a common meal, recalling the promises of God’s covenant, remembering the experience of Jesus and his disciples at their last shared meal.
  • Good Friday – Good Friday is the Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday.  Here at MUMC we observe Good Friday in an evening worship service of Tenebrae the gathering darkness that accompanied Jesus’ passion and death.
  • Easter Day – Easter is the greatest day in the Christian calendar celebrating the resurrection of Jesus the Christ from the dead on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion c. 30 AD.  It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.   At MUMC we offer two morning worship services: our traditional morning liturgy and a festival service celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord, featuring music for brass, organ, and choir.