Lent is a forty-day preparation period for Good Friday and Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday and continues through the Thursday before Easter, not counting Sundays. In this penitential season, Christians around the world renew their commitment to prayer (right relationship with God), fasting (right relationship with self), and giving (right relationship with others). These spiritual disciplines slow us down, help us to see the world and our faith in a new way, and hopefully lead us toward greater shalom and justice.
We use the color purple in the sanctuary during Lent. The color symbolizes both the pain and suffering leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus but it is also the color of royalty, and so anticipates through the suffering and death of Jesus the coming resurrection and hope of newness that will be celebrated in the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.