EL PASO, Texas - Colorful beads, celebrations and a little indulgence: Mardi Gras is here and it’s one of the last times to give into temptation before the beginning of the Lenten Season.
Fr. Fabian Marquez of El Buen Pastor Catholic Church said Lent is a time for Christians to remember the time Jesus spent in the desert leading up to his crucifixion.
"We offer sacrifice, penance and prayer in remembrance of the 40 days that the Lord was united in prayer,” said Fr. Marquez.
During the holy season Christians abstain from eating meat on Fridays and Holy Days of Obligation, while trying to increasing their prayer.
“Anyone from 18 to 59 is encouraged to enter into this fasting,” said Fr. Marquez.
Exceptions can be made for parishioners with health issues that render them unable to participate in the fasting.
Fr. Marquez said fasting allows Christians to experience sacrifice, and that some people may choose to give up additional luxuries.
"Abstain from chocolates if you wish, even though the church does not say that you should abstain from chocolates,” said Fr. Marquez. “That's something that people do on their own.”
The Lenten season starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter.