Getting Ready for Easter by Living Lent! PDF Print E-mail

Lent begins on Wednesday March 1 2017.  The liturgical season of Lent is a time of preparation and it can only be understood in relationship to Easter.  The Church invites us to enter into 40 days of preparation so that we may celebrate the great 50 days of Easter.

The word Lent comes from an old English word meaning Springtime.  In the northern hemisphere this name for the liturgical season that prepares us for Easter is quite appropriate.  Even when the weather is unpredictable we do see signs of Spring and know that soon new life will be surrounding us.

The Church reminds us that Lent has two major purposes: It recalls or prepares for baptism and emphasizes a spirit of penance.  The emphasis on a spirit of penance assists us in preparing to renew our baptismal promises.  For those who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil the spirit of penance is to assist them in preparing for their baptism. 

Throughout the season of Lent we are called to listen more attentively to the Word of God and to set aside additional time for prayer.  The traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and works of charity (almsgiving) are to assist us as we prepare to renew our baptismal promises.

We are called to abstain from eating meat on Fridays and to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  The obligation to abstain from eating meat applies to all those over the age of 14.  The obligation to fast applies to those between the ages of 18 and 59. (Canon 1252).

We may substitute other good actions for abstinence from meat.  This would be particularly true for people who seldom eat meat.  Good actions may include an act of charity such as visiting the aged, helping those in need by sharing time or money, or other acts of piety such as participating in a prayer service (Stations of the Cross).

Lent is a time to fast from that which keeps us away from God or prevents us from living in the light of Christ. In our families we can foster an attitude of fasting and feasting.  For example we can fast from complaining or being uncharitable and feast on thanking God and one another.

For information on our parish Lenten project and suggestions on how to be engaged in Lent please read the bulletin or check us out on Facebook Holy Family Catholic Church Bolton