A powerful 40 days. Your guide to Birmingham’s Lenten season

Birmingham, Cathedral Church of the Advent, Lent, Ash Wednesday
Photo via Cathedral Church of the Advent’s Facebook page

The Lenten season begins Wednesday, February 26 with Ash Wednesday. How is Birmingham preparing for the Easter season over the next 40 days? Read on to find out.

Basic Questions Answered

Have questions about Lent? We have the answers to your questions:

What is Lent?

According to learnreligions.com,

“Lent is the Christian season of spiritual preparation before Easter. During Lent, many Christians observe a period of fastingrepentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose of the Lenten season is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ—to consider his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.”

When does Lent begin and end?

Birmingham, Ash Wednesday, Lent
Ash Wednesday is Feb. 26.

Lent (for Christians) starts on “Ash Wednesday” (Feb. 26) and ends either the evening of “Maundy Thursday” or at sundown on “Holy Saturday” (Sat., April 11, the day before Easter Sunday).

How long is Lent?

Lent lasts for a period of six weeks, a total of 46 days. However, Sundays are excluded, which drops the count to 40 days. 

Who observes Lent?

Lent is traditionally observed by various denominations of Christianity (Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.) However, anyone can take part.

Where did the word “Lent” originate?

The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “Lencten”, meaning “spring.”

How is Lent celebrated?

Birmingham, Lent, Santos Coffee
Could you give up coffee for 40 days? Photo via Santos Coffee’s Facebook page

The most common form of Lent celebration is to give up something significant in your life. Popular choices include:

  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • TV
  • Scrolling social media
  • Meat

I tried giving up Diet Coke for Lent a few years back. I made it less than 12 hours. Take away the fizzy caffeine and on come the cranky pants, y’all! I give major props to those who can make it 40 days straight.

What are those in Birmingham giving up for Lent?

According to a 2020 Twitter Lent Tracker, the top things being given up this year are:

  • Alcohol
  • Social networking
  • Twitter
  • Meat
  • Chocolate

So long after-work drinks and technology. See ya in 40 days.

Here’s what else Birmingham is saying about Lent:

Lenten Lunch Series

Cathedral Church of the Advent will host its annual Lenten Lunch Series February 26-April 29. This will be the 113th year of the series. 

Preaching services will be held daily in Advent’s main worship space at 12:05PM and will include:

  • Organ music
  • A hymn
  • A sermon delivered by guest preachers from throughout the country. 

Lunch will follow at 1PM. Full-service dine-in or express take-out options are available.

Price of meal: $5-$11

Ash Wednesday Events

Are you taking part in Lent this year?

Ash Wednesday falls on February 26. Here’s where you can take part in the celebration and begin your Lenten journey around Birmingham:

Cathedral Church of the Advent

Event: Ash Wednesday at the Advent
Event Details: Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes
Time: 7:30-8:30AM | 10:30-11:30AM | 6-7PM
Address: 2017 6th Ave N., Birmingham, AL 35203

Asbury United Methodist Church

Event: Ash Wednesday Service
Event Details:
Imposition of Ashes. New Lenten Series by Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson—”The Cross That Spoke: The Dying Words of Jesus.”
Time: 6:30-7:30PM (Come early for dinner between 5-6:15PM)
Address: 6690 Cahaba Valley Rd., Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Savior Lutheran Church

Event: Ash Wednesday Worship Service
Event details
Time: 7-8PM
Address: 1074 Dunnavant Valley Rd., Birmingham, AL 35242

City Church Midtown

Birmingham, City Church Midtown, Lent, Ash Wednesday
Visit The Gallery at the Pizitz for an Ash Wednesday Service. Photo via City Church Midtown’s Facebook page

Event: Ash Wednesday Service
Event Details: Explore “What Makes You Grieve?” through music, readings and prayers. Special guest is saxophonist, Delon Charley. 
Time: 5:30PM
Address: The Gallery at the Pizitz.

Beloved Community Church

Event: Ash Wednesday Service
Event Details: Gather in the sanctuary for a simple, contemplative Ash Wednesday evening prayer service to mark the beginning of Lent.
Time:
6-7PM
Address:
131 41st St. S., Birmingham, AL 35222

Highlands United Methodist Church

Event: Ash Wednesday Service
Event Details: Begin your own Lenten journey with the imposition of ashes, sacred music and prayer.
Time: Noon & 6:30PM
Address: 1045 20th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35205

What are you giving up for Lent this year, Birmingham? Let us know on social @bhamnow!