Lent 2021

Our Lady of Soledad Catholic Church, we want to help you get ready for this year’s Lenten season by sharing some great resources from several Catholic websites. We have created this Lent page to bring all the best resources to you in one convenient place.  

What is Lent?

Ash Wednesday – February 17, 2021 | April 1-3, 2021 – Holy Triduum | April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday

Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.

Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection. In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God’s gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446).

In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.

Original Source: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year-and-calendar/lent

Bishop Rojas Reflects On The Lenten Season / Obispo Rojas reflexiona sobre la temporada de Cuaresma

First Sunday of Lent – Prayer of the Faithful

Saved as we are through the waters of baptism, let us bring our prayers to God, whose compassion is from of old. For Francis, bishop of Rome, and for all the bishops of the world, as they lead our Church through these forty days in the Lenten desert to strengthen us for our mission in the world, let us pray to the Lord.

For our nation and all nations of the world as we continue the struggle to make our way out of this devastating pandemic, let us pray to the Lord.

For those preparing for the Easter sacraments (especially those whom we send to celebrate their election this day) as they appeal to God for a clear conscience and deepen their spiritual preparation in the coming weeks, let us pray to the Lord.

For those suffer from floods and devastating rains, for those without homes or shelter, let us pray to the Lord.

For our community as we enter into this season of repentance and renewal, that God may bring our hearts to a firmer belief in the gospel, let us pray to the Lord.

For all those who are sick, for all who suffer from COVID-19, and for all who have died, especially N., N., and N., let us pray to the Lord.

For all the prayers that we hold in the silence of our hearts; for all our intentions spoken and unspoken, let us pray to the Lord.

O God, whose bow in the clouds recalls your covenant with all living things, grant us the grace this Lent to strengthen our baptismal commitment to serve you in all that we do.
Graciously hear this and all our prayers through Jesus Christ your Son and our Lord.

Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.

The Lenten Workshop

by Catholic Culture Staff

Welcome to the Lenten Workshop! As we enter this season in the spirit of the Church and of her liturgy we seek to wash away the stains of sin and to rid ourselves of all that prevents us from living a truly Christian life. We offer these instructions, prayers and activities to help in our attempt to be united to our suffering Savior. The more perfectly we are united with Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Eucharist the more we shall share His new life and glorification at Easter. We hope you will use the following links to discover the meaning of Lent.

Take up your cross and follow Jesus, and you will enter eternal life. If you die with Him, you will also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you will also share His glory.

A Personal Program
It should not be enough to slide through Lent by just observing the fast and abstinence laws. We should all undertake a Lenten program, an inward cleansing and purification, for oneself and the family. The program needs to be planned and organized. Ask the question: What shall I and my family do this year for Lent? Goals and activities should be realistic and reasonable.

The principal works of Lent can be divided into the following six categories:

Fasting and Mortification
We must fulfill the minimum requirements of the Church for fasting and abstinence. But there are other forms of abstaining and fasting. We must remember that when we do “give up” something, it should be completely, not saved for later. The money we save from not buying a cup of coffee should be given as a donation to charity. The time we don’t watch TV should be spent doing spiritual reading, or family time. Below are some examples of other forms of fasting or abstaining:

  • Refrain from complaining, gossiping, grumbling or losing one’s temper.
  • Abstain from favorite drinks, desserts or foods.
  • Eat less at meals, or eat fewer snacks between meals;
  • Fast extra days in Lent besides Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Eat without complaining.
  • Make simple meals, that are less appealing to the sense of taste.

Ideally, the members of the family may participate in daily Mass. If this is not possible, the readings from the Mass should be read and meditated upon daily. This could be done as a family, perhaps at the dinner meal. The Mass is the prayer of the Church, and the highest form of prayer. It also unites us with the whole Church in public prayer.

  • A strong emphasis should be made in receiving the sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance frequently. For an examination of conscience and for help in receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation see An Examination of Conscience and An Examination of Conscience for Laymen.
  • Another prayer of the Church is the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours. Praying the Divine Office unites our prayers with the Liturgy of the universal Church.
  • The Stations of the Cross are special during Lent, because they meditate on the Passion of Christ. Usually the Stations are offered at the parish church on Fridays in Lent. They can also be prayed together as a family.

Almsgiving is tied closely with fasting. Whatever we give up, the money we save should go to the needy. It should be given away to the missions, the Church, or a worthy charity. In a family with small children it helps to make this a visual practice by, for example, having a jar or box in the center of the table as a reminder and measure of progress.

It is also considered “almsgiving” to give one’s time and goods to those who are in need, i.e., donating time for a soup kitchen, giving clothes to charity, visiting the shut-ins, driving those without transportation and other similar practices.

Good Works
Good works deal with two kinds of actions: perfection of our daily duties and perfection of charity toward others.

Our daily duties include our job as a spouse, as a parent, as a child, as a worker or student. We need to strive to do our best in these capacities, even if that means being more patient, more cheerful, more efficient, more charitable, less critical, less gossiping, or less backbiting. We need to make the most of the time we are given each day; we should not waste time. This is the positive area of our Lenten program. We should work on virtues, like obedience, charity, humility, chastity and perseverance.

We should examine ourselves regarding our daily duty at work, at home and how we use the personal time that we have. Many of us postpone or procrastinate personal jobs, prayer and reading for some other time. But NOW is the time to make the best of our daily duty.

See Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

During Lent (and throughout the year) we need spiritual enlightenment. We can find this through spiritual reading, both individually and as a family. This is a prerequisite to a continued growth in the spiritual life. Maria Von Trapp suggests three categories in our Lenten reading program:

  1. Something for the mind. We should do some research, study the papal encyclicals, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, delve into Church history, study Catholic philosophy.
  2. Something for the soul. This should be deeper spiritual reading that gives a program, guidance, and spiritual direction, and could include writings of the saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therérèse of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales.
  3. Something for the heart. We need inspiration. The best way is to read biographies of Christ, Mary, saints or people who put their spiritual life into action. Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ is excellent Lenten reading.

Scripture is an excellent source for all these categories. The Church strongly encourages study and meditative reading of the Bible.

This is the area that tests our will-power. We have the opportunity to give up innocent pleasures without complaining: radio, TV, internet, personal time or leisure, secular reading. We can choose one area in Lent and try to persevere throughout the 40 days. This is not just a test of wills—the main intention is purification, and making reparation for the offenses against the Mystical Body of Christ. So even if these actions are done in private or secret, they help us grow in our spiritual life, and benefit the whole Church. The following are some concrete suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate time surfing the Internet or playing video games.
  • Curb forms of entertainment like TV, dining out, movies, expensive meals.
  • Give up smoking, caffeine, beer and liquor.

Lenten Prayers & Hymns
Lent is a good time to delve into the riches of the Church’s prayers and hymns. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the musical tradition of the universal Church “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.” While there are many to choose from we offer you the following and encourage you to explore further on your own.

Lenten Activities and Customs
This Lent why not take time to tap the treasuries of the Church’s liturgy for your children? How many Catholics use only part of the Church’s spiritual riches! We are called to restore things in Christ, so this Lent make time for God. Ordinarily we assign only minutes a day to Him. Yet we need Him so badly in every area of life. Use this section of Catholic Culture’s site as a springboard of ideas that you can employ to impress upon your children the great mysteries which we are celebrating in the Lenten season.

This item 12044 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org