Lent is a liturgical season of penance that begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013 and ends when the Sacred Paschal Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the evening of Holy Thursday, this year March 28, 2013. Lent is designed to help us in our search for a deeper relationship with God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. All that we do is directed toward personal conversion of heart, repentance for our sins and the grace to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us. During Lent we turn to Christ who said: “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners" (Lk 5:32).
Fast and Abstinence for those whose health permits
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and of abstinence.
All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
Fasting means to refrain from eating food between meals and to eat only one full meal. The other two meals should be lighter meals. Fasting is required of all who are age 18 to 59 on the days noted above. Liquids are permitted between meals.
Abstinence comes from the word “abstain” and means to refrain from eating meat. Abstinence is required of those 14 years of age and older on the days listed above.
Ash Wednesday: Lent begins on Ash Wednesday on February 13, 2013. Ashes are blessed and imparted on the heads of the faithful as a sign of penitence and mortality.
The Chrism Mass and Sacred Oils
All are invited to come to the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 11:00 a.m.. If you have never come before, give yourself a significant gift this Holy Week. You are guaranteed new growth in understanding of the Sacramental life we share as Catholics. The oil we call Sacred Chrism that was used at your Baptism and Confirmation is consecrated for the next year. That same Chrism is used at every priestly ordination and in the consecration of an altar. The oil of the Sick that is used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is blessed at this Mass. The oil of Catechumens that is imparted to all preparing for Baptism is blessed by the Archbishop at this Mass. After the Mass, parishioners are given containers with the oils to be returned to each parish.
Sacred Paschal Triduum
Once the Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins on Holy Thursday evening, we enter into what is called the Sacred Paschal Triduum. It concludes with the celebration of Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. The Triduum commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Christ and is the solemn celebration of the events of our salvation and redemption. Within the Sacred Paschal Triduum we recall the institution of the Sacraments of the Most Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders.
Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper – March 28, 2013
At this Mass we recall the first Mass when Jesus and the Apostles gathered to celebrate the Passover. This was the night when Jesus gave us the sacred priesthood.
Good Friday – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion – March 29, 2013
Other than the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer there is no Liturgical Service before noon. The Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord may be scheduled at a time convenient for the parishioners between 12:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross may be scheduled at any time during the day.
Holy Saturday - Other than the prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours and Anointing those in the RCIA with the Oil of Catechumens, there is no liturgical celebration on Holy Saturday until the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord, the Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is the most solemn Liturgy of the entire year. No Mass of Easter may be celebrated on Holy Saturday before the celebration of the Easter Vigil.