Sunday, 07 February 2021 14:45

Preparing for the paschal mystery: Lent begins Feb. 17

Lent is the 40-day, penitential season of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) and ends with the paschal triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, April 1-3). “Each year, through Mother Church, God gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed … as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ,” Pope Francis said.

Go to dio.org/lent to journey with us this Lent. There, you will find weekly stories and challenges that will inspire you and give your Lenten journey a spiritual boost. Let us slow down, pray, give of our time, talent, and treasure, and keep our focus on the things that will bring us closer to God.

Lenten regulations

All the Christian faithful are urged to develop and maintain a voluntary program of self-denial (in addition to the Lenten regulations which follow), serious prayer and the performing of deeds of charity and mercy, including the giving of alms.

Abstinence — Everyone 14 years of age and over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) and all the Fridays of Lent.

Fast — Everyone 18 years of age and under 59 is required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (April 2). On these two days of fast and abstinence, only one full meatless meal is permitted. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken according to each person’s needs, but together these two should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids (including milk and fruit juices) are allowed.

To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is seriously sinful.

What are you doing for Lent?

As Lent gets closer, you may be asked by your friends or family, “What are you giving up for Lent?” Common responses can be that I am not drinking soda, avoiding sweets, not watching television, or not going on social media. While those can be good sacrifices, you don’t always have to think of Lent as having to “offer something up.” Instead, it can be “doing something.” Go to daily Mass, pray the rosary every day, read Scripture, do an act of charity every day, volunteer, or contribute excess savings to your local church. We wish you a wonderful Lent!

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