WHAT IS LENT ?
Lent Is the solemn observance in the liturgical year lasting for a period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday from Ash Wednesday .
At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily. The blessed ashes are then "imposed" on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.
The act of putting on ashes symbolizes our 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.
From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ's passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial. 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."
With imposition of Ashes
LENT COURSE 2020
The season of Lent will soon be upon us. Sign up now for our 2020 offering – Signs of Life: Why Church Matters.
This series comes right from the heart of our lives as monksat SSJE, as it takes up the signs and symbols of our shared Christian worship. We are excited to share with you anoffering like none we’ve ever made before, with longer explorations of each weekly topic, featuring Brothers in conversation and illustrated by rich footage of life at the Monastery.
Our ongoing collaboration with Lifelong Learning at VTS has produced deep facilitation materials to support those who plan to use Signs of Life in small groups or with their Sunday forum - resources below.
We hope you’ll invite others to share this Lenten journey with you.
Sign up here https://www.signsoflife.org/