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Preparing for season of reflection, sacrifice
In the pulpit
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Another Lent season is under way.
The 2013 season, a 40-day period before Easter, commenced Feb. 13 on Ash Wednesday. During this period, Sundays are not counted because Sundays commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It will culminate March 30, the day before Easter.
A time of intensive soul-searching, repentance and reflection, Lent is celebrated around the world as people take inventory of their lives and try to get a closer relationship with God.
By observing the 40 days of Lent, individual Christians imitate Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for 40 days of praying and fasting as noted in chapter four in both the books of Matthew and Luke.
Churches throughout Liberty County and surrounding areas recognize Lent as a time of fasting, prayer, repentance and self-discipline. Time is set aside for various types of fasting; some people abstain from meats and sweets, while others include fish during Lent. Church doors are open for more times of prayer during the Lent period.
Members of the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Hinesville started the Lent season with prayer at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. on Feb. 13.  Prayer normally is at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The church will celebrate Lent services at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 and 27.  A light soup dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. On March 6, 13 and 20, services will be conducted at 7 p.m., with a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Members of St. Stephen, First Martyr Catholic Church in Hinesville observe Lent with various services throughout the 40-day period.  The church also started Lent with special services Feb. 13.
Many churches have special Good Friday services during Lent, and some will have early morning sunrise services Easter morning.
For additional information about St. Philip’s Lent celebration, call 876-2744. Call St. Stephen at 876-4364.

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