Seasonal Information - Lent 2021
"Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy." Pope Francis
Lent is a season of prayer, repentance, and fasting. It lasts for 40 days beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter, which reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert.
Resistance to temptation is an important spiritual exercise practiced during Lent. Many faithful make a Lenten sacrifice, giving up something dear for the 40-day period, so they will become capable of filling themselves with Christ instead. In addition to giving something up, many take on additional responsibilities, chores, or penances.
Fasting in its simplest form, called abstinence, involves abstaining from meat on Fridays. Sundays are not part of the fasting period. They are excepted because Sundays are celebrations of the resurrection of Christ. Each Sunday is a mini-Easter, therefore it is appropriate for people to partake in whatever they may have given up for the 40 days.
The Stations of the Cross, which follows Christ from His condemnation to His entombment, are practiced as a form of devotion. Our Lady of the Assumption Church invites you to participate in the Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7:00pm throughout Lent. If you cannot attend in person, view our virtual version with photos of the Stations from Our Lady of the Assumption Church and St. Maria Goretti Church.
Because of the austerity of Lent, Alleluia is not said in prayer or sung in liturgy. The Gloria is not sung at Mass during Lent except for a few possible feasts and solemnities. During Lent, "the altar is not to be decorated with flowers, and the use of musical instruments is allowed only to support the singing" (Ceremonial of Bishops, 252).
The liturgical color of Lent is violet, just as for Advent. Rose-colored vestments, however, may be used on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare Sunday from the first words of that day's Introit at Mass, Laetare Jerusalem ("Rejoice, O Jerusalem").
The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week, and it begins with Palm Sunday. On Holy Thursday, the Last Supper is celebrated. On Good Friday, the trial, suffering, and crucifixion of Christ is commemorated. Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season.
The purpose of fasting and abstinence is to focus on the spiritual instead of the corporeal, practice self-discipline, imitate Christ, and perform penance.
Abstinence - Catholics over the age of 14 must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent.
Fasting - Catholics between the age of 18 and 59 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.
Regarding other weekdays of Lent, participation in daily Mass and the voluntary observance of fasting is recommended.
Here's an idea for those who have attempted over the years to make grand gestures for their Lenten sacrifice, only to find it quickly thrown in the same dejected pile as their New Year's resolution. Instead of giving up one impossibly difficult thing for 40 days, try giving up a myriad of small things every day for 5 minutes at a time. Not only will you likely not feel like you "failed Lent" because you caved in on your sacrifice, but you will have dozens of opportunities every day to turn your thoughts to God. It's called the 5-minute sacrifice for Lent.
Although the past several months have taught us to appreciate personal connections, it has also taught us that we can still find profound enrichment through virtual experiences. Join us for a flexible online retreat that you can tailor to fit your schedule. Choose any or all of the following offerings: weekly reflections and resources, virtual recipe swap, zoom meetings with parishioner facilitators, and family take-home kits.
The Faith Feeds Zoom Group will meet on February 21, March 7, and March 21, from 7-7:30pm. The Recipe Swap Group will also meet on February 21, March 7, and March 21, from 7:30-8pm.
Click HERE TO REGISTER
Meatless Meal Recipes
St. John's Seminary Virtual Retreat: February 24, 7pm
Journey with St. Joseph featuring reflections from Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC Author of Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father; Bishop Byrne from the Diocese of Springfield; and our own pastor, Fr. Paul Ritt. Register at: https://www.sjs.edu/lentenretreat.
In Small Bites...
Stations of the Cross
Every Friday throughout Lent at 7:00pm at Our Lady of the Assumption Church
If you cannot join us in person, we offer this virtual Stations of the Cross featuring the Stations at Saint Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption Churches. As another alternative, here are the Stations of the Cross and reflections offered by Bishop Barron: Word on Fire Stations of the Cross.
Resources for Reflections, Meditations
As we continue to follow COVID-19 precautions, we miss our communal gatherings for spiritual study, the Lenten "little black books" provided in our churches, and the parish Lenten Mission, but here are a variety of resources for you to find enrichment in your journey.
Daily meditations from Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire community:https://www.lentreflections.com/
My Catholic Life! daily reflections: https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/
Creighton University's online ministries includes prayers, recipes, articles, audio conversations: https://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/
Loyola Press's Living Lent Daily email series: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/living-lent-daily/
Ignatian Spirituality online retreats and prayers: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/lent/
Weekly Lenten reflections from Saint John's Seminary: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/wTC8Xmj/lentenreflections
Music to Lift the Spirit and Celebrate the Season
Ancient Ways, Future Days: Liam Lawton
Christus Resurrexit: Taize
Gracious God: Jesse Manibusan
Crown of Thorns: Danielle Rose with Notre Dame Folk Choir
Rise Up with Him: Janet Vogt
Behold the Lamb
Create in Me
Christ, Be Our Light
Here at the Cross: Blakesley
Hosea - Come Back to Me: Talbot
In Christ Alone
Jesus the Lord: O'Connor
King of My Heart: Walton
Lead Me to the Cross: Hillsong
The Lord is My Shepherd: Blakesley
Only This I Want: Schutte
Run to the Cross: Blakesley
Save Your People
Take Up Your Cross: Cortez
To the Desert Follow Me: Hart
Turn to Me: Foley
With Our Eyes on the Cross: Walton