The season of Lent has its roots in the preparation of candidates for baptism. Lent culminates at the Easter Vigil and on Easter morning when these apprentices in the Way of the Cross and Resurrection die to their former life and rise to new life in Christ. Over time Lent has become a season in which the whole congregation, baptised and not yet baptised, renews its communal baptismal identity.
In the early church the very name given to the community identified its members as those who had pledged their lives and their deaths to Jesus. According to the book of Acts followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26). In Greek it means “belonging to Christ” in the same way that a slave belongs to an owner. The name Christian connotes not so much choosing to be a follower of Jesus as it does being called - drafted - into the service of the Anointed One - the King in the coming reign of God.