The annual observance of Lent is the special season for the ascent to the holy mountain of Easter. Through its twofold theme of repentance and baptism, the season of Lent disposes the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery. (Ceremonial of Bishops, 249)
Fasting and Abstinence
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat and also days of fast. The other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
- The law of abstinence binds all Catholic 14 years of age and older.
- The law of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday applies to adults ages 18 to 60.
The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462)
Prayer is emphasized during Lent. There are many ways that we can make prayer a part of our Lenten journey. You may choose to pray a Lenten daily devotional. Or, make an effort to attend Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings. It could be something as simple as praying the rosary!
The Liturgy of Lent
The season of Lent brings changes to the celebration of the Mass. These changes reflect the somber and penitential nature of the Lenten season.
Notice when you attend mass that,
- The color of Lent is violet/purple. No flowers and other sanctuary decorations is present.
- The hymns of Lent are shorter, simple and terse. The music is not triumphant or celebratory.
- The Gloria and Alleluia are dropped, and do not reappear until Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper.