The Holy season of Lent is a solemn observance in the liturgical calendar begining on Ash Wednesday and covering a period of approximatley forty days, the same as our Lord Jesus spent in the wildnerness of the desert fasting and being tempted by the Devil, in preperation for the celebration of Our Lord's Resurection on Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for the holiest day of the year, Easter, through prayer, penance, fasting and alms-giving.
Why do we put ahes on our forehead?
Ashes are applied to our forehead in the sign of the cross as the words, "Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return" are spoken to us. The other formula which is used, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" emphasizes our call to continual conversion and holiness of life. This act symbolizes our mortality as well as our need for ongoing repentance. It is a reminder that this life is short and merely a foreshadowing of what we shall become through the redemption of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The work of our redemption will not be complete until we are raised from the dead, in resurrected bodies like His own and called to the eternal communion of Heaven.
Where do the ashes come from?
The ashes for Ash Wednesday are made from blessed palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. The ashes are sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed before distribution.
LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE:
During the season of Lent, the church urges the faithful to reflect a spirit of penance in their daily lives through performing acts of faith and abstinence.
FASTING requires that only one full meal be taken per day. Two other smaller meals may be taken during the day to maintain physical strength, but these two meals together should not equal a full meal in quantity. Nor is there eating between meals. Fasting obliges all those who have reached the age of 18 and continues to oblige through age 59. Those who are not specifically obliged to fast are encouraged to join in the discipline of fasting to the extent that they are able.
ABSTINENCE prohibits individuals from eating meat on a particular day. Abstinence obliges all those who have reached the age of 14 and continues to oblige throughout their lives. Those who are not specifically obliged to abstain from eating meat are encouraged to join in the discipline of abstaining to the extent that they are able.
ASH WEDNESDAY and GOOD FRIDAY are days of Fast and Abstinence. FRIDAYS in Lent are days of Abstinence.
Parish Lenten Schedule:
Ash Wednesday: February 10: Ashes will be distributed during and after the 7:00AM, 9:00AM and 5:30PM Masses and during the 3:30PM and 7:00PM prayer services.
Mondays of Lent: 7:30 PM Lenten Series. An hour of Eucharistic Adoration with a Meditation on the topic of Divine Mercy.
Fridays of Lent: 7:30PM Sataions of the Cross. Friday, March 4th, St Mary's School students will enact a "living" Stations of the Cross.
Reconciliation Monday: March 21--Confessions will be heard from 3:00-9:00PM.
The Sacred Triduum:
Holy Thursday: March 24--No morning Masses. 9:00AM Tenebrae. 7:30PM Solemn Mass and Eucharistic Procession.
Good Friday: March 25--No Masses. 9:00AM Tenebrae. 3:00PM Solemn Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. 7:30PM Stations of the Cross.
Holy Saturday: March 26. No morning Masses. 9:00AM Tenebrae. No regulalry scheduled 5:30PM Mass. 8:00PM Easter Vigil.
Easter Sunday: March 27. Regular schedule of Sunday Masses.
9 AM and 5:30 PM (Sunday Vigil)
Saturday, 4:00 to 5:15 PM and 6:30 to 7:00 PM or at the Rectory by appointment