We have now reached the solemn and penitential season of Lent. The Teutonic (German) word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days' fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season or merely to lengthen. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the tradition and events of the New Testament beginning on Friday of Sorrows, further climaxing on Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, which ultimately culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Tthe Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and of His execution, are often observed. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat.