[Lent] involves gathering in community… Lent was traditionally a time to prepare for baptism and for those who had separated themselves from the community to be restored by penitence and forgiveness. It invites us to remember that in the early days of Christianity, “the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.” None of us come to either the days of Lent or the joy of Easter morning alone. We are joined by the company of believers -- not only the ones who sit beside us [in church], but also those who have made the Lenten journey through the centuries. It is the latter who have left us guidance for how to prepare for the resurrection of Christ. They have left spiritual practices to enable us to walk through the valley of these 40 days and to engage with our sin and mortality and to receive with gratitude God’s love and grace.
-- Nancy Ferguson, from www.ministrymatters.com