Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. Since the earliest times of the Church, there is evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation for Easter. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation. Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution.
Lenten Fast and Abstinence
Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years and older. Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. From its earliest days, the Church has urged the baptized and catechumens to observe the threefold discipline of fasting, almsgiving and prayer as a preparation for the celebration of Easter. Failure to observe individual days of penance is not considered serious, but failure to observe any penitential days at all or a substantial number of such days must be considered serious.
Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years and older.Someone famous Source Title
Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2018
The following is the Message of the Holy Father for Lent 2018 on the theme: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12). Click here to read the full text.
Word on Fire ENGAGE
You sign up to receive a weekly emailed video for 5 weeks during Lent. No codes, passords, downloads, or accounts. Just open the message, click, and play. You may - but don't need to - ask questions and/or respond to the videos. This turns mini-courses into a digital small group, where we can comment whenever and wherever we'd like. So our parish commuity is watching and discussing the same videos together, bringing the content and discussion to each of us, on our own time.
Word on Fire ENGAGE includes short videos, featuring Bishop Robert Baron, one of the most effective Catholic evangelists today. Many people have described them as the most engaging Catholic videos they've ever seen. Sighing up grants you access to all the Word on Fire content.
To sign up English speakers text "GODLOVESME" to 84576.
To sign up Spanish speakers text "GODLOVESME" to 202-765-3441.
No smart phone? Call Nita at 707-845-7678 to sign up with your email.
First Week of Lent
The video and meditation for the first week of Lent are below.
Click here or on the link at the bottom to see the video and read the meditation
God bless you on your Lenten journey closer to Him.
10 Resources for Lent
Lent means many things to many people. Whether you are seeking solemnity, renewal, or rejuvenation, the resources on this page offer inspiring insights for your observance of Lent.
- Ash Wednesday
- Living Lent Daily
- Arts & Faith: Lent
- Holy Week
- Perspectives on Lent
- Prayers & Retreats
- Seven Last Words
- Stations of the Cross
History of Lent
What are the origins of Lent? Did the Church always have this time before Easter? In his article, "History of Lent", Fr. William Saunders iis pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and former dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. Father has been writing his weekly "Straight Answers" column for the Arlington Catholic Herald since 1993. The above article is one of those "Straight Answers" columns. Father Saunders is the author of Straight Answers, Answers to 100 Questions about the Catholic Faith, a book based on 100 of his columns and published by Cathedral Press in Baltimore.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Lenten Resources
Lent offers us a time to prepare and reflect on the great Easter mystery, that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." Join Catholics around the world in this holy season, using the multitude of resources available through this site.
Advent and Lent offer us the opportunity to deepen our faith and explore new spiritual practices as we prepare for the great Christian feasts of Christmas and Easter. Click on the links below for articles, a daily calendar, and other resources for your journey.
Ignatian Spirituality: Lent
Lent is a season of repentance and renewal. We turn away from our sinfulness and recommit ourselves to following Jesus. Ignatian contemplation and reflective prayer encourage us in the season of Lent. Below we highlight Ignatian resources for Lent.
- Online Retreats and Prayers - 9 different areas to choose from
- Lenten Video Reflections - 4 videos to choose from
- Seasonal Articles - 11 articles to peruse.
The Catholic Guy on Lent
Watch daily videos from Bruce Downes as he takes us on a journey through Lent.
If you want to grow more deeply in your faith, this is for you.
If you feel disconnected from the Church, don’t know how to pray or read your bible this is an opportunity for you to connect from your home, office or café.
Praying Lent This Year
Lent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need.
We offer resources here to assist our entry into this wonderful season, from our preparing to begin Lent to our preparing to celebrate the holy three days following Lent.
Lenten Activities For Children
If you’re looking for ways to observe Lent with your kids this year, you’ve come to the right place! Browse all my Lenten resources for families by subject below. Click on the link for full directions or printables. Be sure to save this link- I update this post every time I come out with new Lenten resources for kids.
Reconciliation: Preparing For Jesus
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others.
Pretzels & Lent
Pretzels had their beginning around 610 A.D. somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy. A young monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. Christians of the day prayed with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder. It occurred to him that he could twist the leftover dough from the bread into this shape and use it as a treat for the children to recite their prayers. He named his creation 'pretiola,' Latin for 'little reward.' In the centuries following, the pretzel made its way into history books and European culture. The pretzel's form became a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity.
Click here to find out Do pretzels really have anything to do with Lent?
Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday
Every season, in particular liturgical seasons, have their own special traditions and customs. Though Christmas and Easter traditions are most familiar, it is important to highlight and celebrate the other religious seasons of which Lent is one of them. The more common Lenten traditions are ashes on Ash Wednesday, the palms of Palm Sunday, the Rice Bowl for almsgiving, and the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, usually each Friday of Lent. Another way of teaching about Lent is Hot Cross Buns. They are only available during the Lenten season, most often on Ash Wednesday and certainly Good Friday. Hot cross buns are usually made of a sweet spicy dough, with raisins and currents in it, topped with icing shaped in the form of a cross. Thus, hot cross buns!
Like everything else in our faith, the tradition goes back to the earliest and medieval times of the Catholic Church. According to tradition, these buns originated at St Alban's Abbey in 1361, where the monks gave them to the poor people who came there. These Good Friday buns were very popular, and were sold by vendors who cried,
Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns! One a-penny two a-penny, Hot cross buns! If you have no daughters, give 'em to your sons! One a-penny two a-penny, Hot cross buns!
Operation Rice Bowl
A small influx of resources can make a big difference. Hamsatou Tangare in Mali, a country in West Africa, couldn’t earn enough as a tailor to support her family. With a small loan form Catholic Relief Services, she expanded her business and could ultimaitely purchase school supplies for her children. CRS microfinance project work with a group dynamic – Hamsatou meets regularly with thirty other women in her village to ensure accountability and help one another during emergencies. St. Paul tells us to “bear your hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” Hamsatou and her neighbors are bearing it together. By praying and giving with Operation Rice Bowl, you too are shouldering their burden and expressing a profound message of solidarity. Initiatives like microfinancing will someday lighten the burden of African poverty.
Please participate in Operation Rice Bowl by picking up a Home Calendar Guide, one per family, and one Rice Bowl per person or family. Place the money that you save during Lent in the Rice Bowl and you can bring this back to church during the designated time during the Holy Thursday Mass.