On Ash Wednesday, 1 March we once again begin the penitential season of Lent with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads as a stark reminder of our mortality and need for on-going conversion. The Church invites us to embrace the traditional Lenten practices of prayer fasting and almsgiving to turn away from sin and selfishness and prepare our hearts for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Our Lord’s saving passion, death and resurrection.
Below is our Lenten Guide and other information and resources to help you in your Lenten preparations for Holy Week. Please note the times of the Stations of the Cross & Benediction and also special times for Adoration.
An Examination of Conscience Booklet is also available to pick up in the Cathedral
Lenten Observances of Fasting and Abstinence
Fast: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast.
On days of fast, one full meal is allowed. Two lesser meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed. Catholics who have completed their 18th year are bound by this law until the beginning of their 60th year.
Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence. On days of abstinence, meats should not be taken at any meal. The law of abstinence binds all Catholics who have completed their 14th year.
Ash Wednesday begins the time year for the solemn observance of the great central act of history, the redemption of the human race by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the symbol of ashes which is used in today’s liturgy. The use of ashes is a survival from an ancient rite according to which converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance. The Alleluia and the Gloria are suppressed until Easter. “The putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent”. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
#1 of the Seven Habits to Holiness – the Morning Offering:
Physical copies of the above prayer are available at the Cathedral.
Plan your Lent with this helpful worksheet:
Other helpful resources to help you have a holy Lenten Season:
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