What is Lent?
In Christian tradition, Lent recalls when Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray. Jesus is the central figure in Christianity and recognised by most Christian as the son of God. It is a very solemn period of time for many Christians.
When is Lent?
Lent begins each year on the holy day of Ash Wednesday, which is February 18 in 2015. Lent lasts until Easter Saturday for most branches of Christianity. However, the Catholic Church ends Lent on the evening of Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) with the remaining period until Easter Sunday evening being holy days known as the Easter Triduum.
What do people do during Lent?
Many Christians will choose to fast or abstain throughout Lent. This may involve giving up certain things like coffee or smoking, or may involve complete fasting from any food or drink other than at certain times of the day. Some holy days such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are considered by some Christians to be days when meat should not be eaten.
Lent and Easter are times of additional prayer and holy days, people are encouraged to attend extra church services, some of which will fall on a week day.
Lent is also a time for ‘almsgiving’ which involves giving to others and can include making charitable donations and participating in charitable events.
- It is a great opportunity to support work collegues and bringing a closer relationship.
- Understanding and awarness of Lent and different religious festivals can be helped by makiing sure that staff have information this can be put on a notice board or newsletter or even by email
- Breaks might be taken shorter or longer lunch, this may make it easier for an employee to manage their workload and if they wish to take time off to attend church services.
- There is no legal requirement to accommodate for taking annual leave or time off but planning ahead can help and flexible working arrangements, annual leave or unpaid leave. It is generally unadvisable to offer paid special leave for such time off requests because an employer needs to ensure they do not discriminate in favour of a particular religion.
- If you are participating in Lent it would be advisable to inform your line manager.
- Managers need to know if staff are fasting or abstaining as this can them i.e feeling dizzy, being irritable and tired this can help them.