The Meaning of the Days

Origin of the word is from the Anglo Saxon “lencten,” meaning “spring.” Lent originated in the fourth century. Season spans 40 weekdays beginning with Ash Wednesday. Originally was a time of preparation for those who were to be baptized at the Easter Vigil (early on Easter Sunday). Today, Lent is marked as a time to prepare for the celebration of Easter. The number 40 is connected with many Biblical events, especially with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry by facing the temptations that could lead him to abandon his mission. 

Shrove Tuesday
“Shrove” is an old English word meaning “to repent.” This Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is also called Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday). It became a time for eating up everything good in the house that medieval Christians believed was inappropriate to eat during Lent (eggs, butter, cream, meat).

Ash Wednesday
First day of Lent.
Name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on worshippers’ heads as a sign of humility before God.
Ashes are symbolic, since early Biblical times, of repentance of sin or of grief in mourning.

Palm Sunday
This Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Palm trees have always been a tree of honor to the Semitic people; these trees marked the place where shepherds could find water for their flocks.

Maundy Thursday
The word “Maundy” is thought to have come from the Latin word “mandatum” which means commandment.
Maundy then refers to the instructions Jesus gave his disciples in the upper room where He celebrated Passover with his disciples. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (John 13:3, 4).
Also referred to as Holy Thursday.
For some it is commemorated with the symbolic washing of feet.

Good Friday
Why “good’? There have been many conjectures.
One is that it represents a vowel shift from an older form of “God’s Friday” that changed to “Good Friday.”
Good may refer to the great good God was able to accomplish for man by sending His Son.
Good may present the post-resurrection perspective that what God accomplished was good, rather than from man’s perspective that it truly was “bad.”