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Spiritual Life » Lenten Resources

Lenten Resources

ASH WEDNESDAY
 
1:00pm Zoom Mass
 
This year, the usual practice of imposing ashes by thumb on the foreheads cannot be followed.

It is important that we remember, especially this year, that our own internal disposition and intention to repent and start over is the best fruit of Ash Wednesday, and that ashes are simply an external sign of that internal reality. Receiving ashes is not required – we can still enter into Lent with a repentant heart without an external sign. Packets of blessed ashes will be distributed at the end of each Mass for students/families to bring home for themselves and their families. The packets will include a card with a link to our website for prayers to use while imposing the ashes at home, if you wish.

Reservations are required to comply with capacity, social distancing, and contact tracing requirements. We CANNOT accommodate people arriving at Ash Wednesday Masses without a reservation. Reservations can be made at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPHS_Ashes

Outdoor Distribution of Ashes
Packets of blessed ashes will also be distributed out front of the school office from 1:00 – 3:00pm for those who are not comfortable coming inside to Mass. Simply stop by any time between 1:00 – 3:00pm (please reserve your ashes at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPHS_Ashes ).
 
 
Ash Wednesday Prayer Service
 
First Reading: Joel 2:12-13 

Reader: A reading from the book of the prophet Joel

Yet even now, says the Lord,
Return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
And tear your hearts, and not your garments,
Return to the Lord, your God.
For he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
The Word of the Lord
All: Thanks be to God

 

Song: Here’s My Heart Lord - click to play
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:5-6

Reader: When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
The Gospel of the Lord
All: Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ

 
Time for Reflection and Prayer

During this Holy Season of Lent we are asked to refocus on our relationship with the Lord;
We are invited to turn back to Him by renewing our prayer life.

We are invited to look into our hearts to examine the places of hardness where we most need to let Him in.

We are invited to look outwards towards needs we see around us, in our families, in the circles we move in, as well as in the wider world and make positive action to bring God’s healing grace and love to all.

Take a few moments of silence to think about your plan for this Lent, and ask Jesus to accompany you on your journey.

 
Prayers of the Faithful

Reader: For our Lenten journey beginning today, that we may be steadfast as we seek Christ Jesus in prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord Hear Our Prayer

Reader: That we have ears which are open and attentive to hear the subtle voice of Jesus calling us into integrity and peace.
We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord Hear Our Prayer

Reader: For those places in our hearts where we hold on to hurt, fear and unkindness, that we may seek the grace of God’s forgiveness.
We pray to the Lord
All: Lord Hear Our Prayer

Reader: That we may work diligently for justice in our communities, that we care for all, especially those who are marginalized and forgotten.
We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord Hear Our Prayer

 
Distribution of Ashes

Sign yourself, or your family members, with the ashes in the sign of the cross on the forehead saying: Repent, and believe in the Gospel.

 
Closing Song: O Praise The Name (Anástasis) - click to play
 
Reverent Disposal of Ashes and Closing Prayer

While you place the ashes outside, near the foundation of your home, close with the following prayer:

God our Father, You formed us from the dust of the Earth. You brought us to new life by the work of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As we journey through these forty days of Lent, help us to see Jesus in everyone we meet. Help us to serve Him in all persons, especially the poor, sick, and lonely. By Your grace, may our prayers and sacrifices this Lent help us grow closer to You and to Your one family in Jesus. Bless this home, make it a vessel of Your love and peace.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that offers witness to Jesus’ Passion and Death. The Stations of the Cross began as the practice of Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus Christ to the cross.  Later, for the many who wanted to walk in the footsteps of Christ, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church. 

 

At each station we use our senses and our imagination to reflect prayerfully upon Jesus’ suffering, Death, and Resurrection, and to simply experience the visual images to reflect on Christ’s love for us.

Imagine the scene in Jerusalem as Jesus walked his Way of the Cross. Typically, the Stations of the Cross is an action prayer. Catholics walk to the fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross and stop to pray at each of the fourteen.  Today, many cannot enter a church to walk the stations due to illness and pandemic. The Christian Leadership Class will be producing a St. Paul Stations of the Cross for Holy Week.  Please check back for the link.  In the meantime, here are some virtual Station of the Cross resources:

Stations of the Cross from catholic.org

Stations of the Cross from the Holy Land

Stations of the Cross with Bishop Barron

 

 

Lenten Observances 
 

Because the season of Lent is of penitential character, the Church sets forth the days of penance as Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent. Catholics are obliged to both fast and abstain from flesh meat on Ash Wednesday and Friday of the Lord's Passion and abstain from flesh meat on all other Fridays during Lent. These requirements are binding on Catholics of the following age ranges:

 

Latin Rite Catholics from age 18 up through to the beginning of their 60th year (their 59th birthday) are required to fast, unless they have a serious reason for not doing so. According to Pope Paul VI's apostolic constitution Paenitemini, "The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing--as far as quantity and quality are concerned--approved local custom." (Paenitemini, ch. III., III., 2).

 

Latin Rite Catholics who have reached age 14 are required to abstain from flesh meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent. If a solemnity happens to fall on a Friday, abstinence is not required on that day. Notice there is no upper age limit on the requirement to abstain.

 

Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs--all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consommé, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.

 

Paul VI states in Paenitemini: "The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat" (III., 1).

Who is exempted from fasting and abstinence laws? "Questions and Answers About Lent and Lenten Practices" states:

 

Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women. In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.

 

More Information on Fasting and Abstinence