Lent is a tradition that has taken place within Christianity for centuries, and for those who participate, it serves as a 40-day period leading up to Easter to remember the sacrifice that Christ made.
Freshman Taylor Moore has been participating in Lent since she was a freshman in high school. She said each Lent season has allowed her to make a daily, or even hourly, sacrifice of something worldly so she can turn her attention to an eternal sacrifice.
“It’s been kind of eye-opening to see how dependent I am on whatever it was that I decided to give up,” Moore said.
This year, Moore chose to give up using mirrors or any type of reflective device, which she said has forced her to focus less on herself, especially in the mornings, and set her thoughts and energy more on God and others.
“You’re just constantly reminded of the presence of God when you can’t have something that you normally would,” Moore said. “God has become more because I have had to become so much less.”
Junior Jordan Hornsby grew up participating in Lent and Ash Wednesday with her family and church at home. She said that her church always tried to emphasize making a sacrifice that would help them emulate Jesus and the types of sacrifices that he made, and that every time they felt themselves reaching for or wanting what they gave up, it could serve as a reminder to pray and turn to God.
Hornsby said one year that particularly stood out to her was when she and her friends decided to read through the Gospels in addition to giving something up for Lent.
“In addition to giving something up, we took something on, and that was really cool to see — not only what it looks like to sacrifice something, but to take something on that will bring you closer to God as well,” Hornsby said.
Hornsby said Lent serves as a season each year to reflect on the magnitude of Jesus’s sacrifice and how important it truly is.
“It puts my mind in the right space because, so many times, I feel like Easter — or really any holiday or anything in life — can just sneak up on you, but having Lent 40 days before just was a constant reminder of, ‘This is to remember Jesus giving up his life and then resurrecting from the dead,’” Hornsby said.
Junior Easton Davis said he was not originally planning on participating in Lent, but his viewpoint changed when he went to an Ash Wednesday service and got the ash cross marked on his forehead.
“I really loved it because they said, ‘From dust you came and to dust you will return,’ which is something that I’ve heard before, but this year it had an action,” Davis said. “The ash on the forehead tied to it, and therefore had meaning.”
As a whole, Davis said this Lent season for him looks like being more aware of his innate selfishness and rejecting it.
“Me and the people participating in Lent are giving up something for 40 days, and it’s not even remarkably close to what Jesus has done,” Moore said. “But it’s just one more step in the path of Jesus’s life, and I think it’s very cool to be a part of something like that.”