GUIDELINES FOR LENT
February 14 - March 31, 2018
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday February 14th, 2018.
The act of 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
From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ's passion and death was observed by a period of selfdenial. St. Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days' fast he saw practiced in Rome and elsewhere, "to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days." On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St. Sabina's in Rome "to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial." - Daily Missal of the Mystical Body
The time of Lent is to be observed by Catholics as a special season of prayer, penance and works of charity.
---Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018) and Good Friday (March 30, 2018), in particular, are the most important penitential days of the liturgical year. They are days of both fast and abstinence. All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence.
---The rule of FASTING states that only one full meal a day can be taken. Two small meals, "sufficient to maintain strength", are allowed, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals breaks the fast, but drinking liquids does not. The rule of fasting obliges all Catholics from 18 to 59.
---ABSTINENCE refers to the eating of meat. The common estimation of the community is used to determine what falls under the category of meat. The rule of abstinence binds all Catholics 14 years and older.
---The SUBSTANTIAL observance of the laws of fast and abstinence is a serious obligation.
---Self-imposed fasting on other weekdays of Lent is recommended. Abstinence on all Fridays of the year is also highly recommended.
---Parents and teachers should see to it that, even those who are not bound by the laws of fast and abstinence because of age, are brought up in an atmosphere that is conducive to a sense of penance.
Friday Abstinence Outside of Lent.
It should be noted that Fridays throughout the year are designated days of penance. The Code of Canon Law states that Friday is a day of abstinence from meat throughout the year. The American Bishops have allowed us to choose a different form of penance rather than abstaining from meat, but there must be some form of penance, for this is the day we commemorate Christ's suffering and death. The bishops stress that " among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance...we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat."
The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
Throughout our history, Christians have found prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to be an important part of repentance and renewal. Many Catholics now add something during Lent rather than giving up something, either to address personal habits that need work or to add some outreach to others in need.
Prayer: More time given to prayer during Lent will draw us closer to the Lord. We might pray especially for the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully. We might pray for the elect who will be baptized at Easter and support their conversion journey by our prayer. We might pray for all those who will celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with us during Lent that they will be truly renewed in their baptismal commitment.
Fasting: Fasting is one of the most ancient practices linked to Lent. In fact, the paschal fast predates Lent as we know it. The early Church fasted intensely for two days before the celebration of the Easter Vigil. This fast was later extended and became a 40 – day period of fasting leading up to Easter. Vatican II called us to renew the observance of the ancient paschal fast: ". . .let the paschal fast be kept sacred. Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and, where possible, prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind "
Abstaining: Abstaining from meat traditionally linked us to the poor, who could seldom afford meat for their meals. It can do the same today if we remember the purpose of abstinence and embrace it as a spiritual link to those whose diets are sparse and simple. That should be the goal we set for ourselves – a sparse and simple meal.
Almsgiving: Almsgiving, the third traditional pillar of Lent is a sign of our care for those in need and an expression of our gratitude for all that God has given to us. Works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of the Christian way of life we began when we were baptized.
MARCH 11, 2918 10:30 AM Generations of Faith
MARCH 18, 2018 3:00 PM Penance Service St. Mary's
MARCH 21 - 22, 2018 40 Hour Devotion St. Mary's
MARCH 21, 2018 9:00 AM Mass To Begin 40 Hours Devotion St. Mary's
MARCH 22, 2018 6:00 PM Mass To Finish 40 Hours Devotion St. Mary's
LENTEN PENANCE SERVICE
ST. MARY'S, SPRINGFIELD, 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT, MARCH 18, 2018, 3:00 PM
|March 29, 2018 HOLY THURSDAY
| 7:00 PM
|| Mass of the Lord's Supper
|| St. Mary's
March 30, 2018 GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
|12:00 M - 1:00 PM
||Liturgy of the Lord's Passion
||Stations of the Cross
| ||March 31, 2018 HOLY SATURDAY
||EASTER VIGIL MASS No 4:00 PM Vigil Mass Holy Saturday
| April 1, 2018 EASTER SUNDAY
| 9:00 AM
|| EASTER SUNDAY MASS
||EASTER SUNDAY MASS No 6:00 PM Mass Easter
||12:00 M - 2:00 PM
||EASTER COMMUNITY DINNER
||St. Mary's Nolan-Murray Center
A Guide to Confession
Preparing for Reconciliation
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), we encounter Jesus Christ, who after rising from the dead breathed the Holy Spirit on his Apostles - the first priests - and gave them the power to forgive sins in his name (Jn 20:23). The Heart of Christ burns with love for us and he wants us to experience his
immense and unfathomable mercy by confessing our sins and receiving his forgiveness. This sacrament gives us the consolation of God's pardon and strengthens our relationship with Christ and his Church.
Prayer to Our Lady before Confession
Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, your Son died on a cross for me. Help me to confess my sins humbly and with trust in the mercy of God, that I may receive his pardon and peace.
How to go to Confession
- Pray to the Holy Spirit for self-knowledge and trust in the mercy of God. Examine your conscience, be truly sorry for your sins, and resolve to change your life.
- Go to the priest and begin with the Sign of the Cross.
Welcoming you, the priest will say: "May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in his mercy", or similar words taken from Scripture. You answer: "Amen." Then say, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been ____ weeks/months/years since my last confession."
- Confess your sins openly and candidly. Tell the priest of all mortal sins and the number of times each was committed, and then you may confess some of your venial sins. (Although it is not strictly necessary to confess venial sins, the Church recommends that you do.) If you do not know whether a sin is mortal or venial, ask the priest. If you have no mortal sins, confess venial sins you have committed since your last confession; you may also mention some
mortal sin from your past life for which you are particularly sorry, indicating that it has already been confessed.
- Then listen to the priest for whatever counsel he may judge appropriate. If you have any question about the faith, how to grow in holiness, or whether something is a sin, feel free to ask him. Then the priest will assign you a penance.
- Pray the Act of Contrition when the priest tells you.
- Listen as the priest absolves you of your sins and enjoy the fact that God has truly freed you from all your sins. If you forget to confess a mortal sin, you are still forgiven, but must mention it the next time you go to confession.
- Do the penance the priest assigns you.
If you are anxious or unsure of what to do, take the guide to confession with you, located at the entrance of the church, or tell the priest and he will make it easier for you.
From: Knights of Columbus Guide To Confession
MORE PRACTICAL TIPS ON HOW TO GO TO CONFESSION