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The Season of Lent

This Wednesday starts the most important liturgical season of the year; Lent. We begin Lent with Ash Wednesday by having ashes put on our foreheads in the sign of the cross. These ashes represent our repentance and mourning of our signs as well as our belief that Jesus Christ died for our sins.  


During the 40 days of Lent we make an effort to live the way God wants us to through the three (3) penitential acts; prayer, fasting and almsgiving. 


Prayer: We create an ongoing conversation with God.


Almsgiving: The practice of charity whether we chose it to be local or global.

 

Fasting: The ultimate penitential act as it rounds out the other two by being a form of penance, as we imitate Jesus’s forty days in the desert and puts us in solidarity with Christ’s suffering.  Only adults (ages 18-59) are obligated to fast (although teens 14 and older are obligated to abstain from meat on Fridays). In addition to this obligation, everyone is invited to choose additional penitential practices during Lent. “The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities,” the U.S. Catholic bishops say (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, page 96). Beginning at about age five or six, children can be encouraged to “give something up,” or to adopt a positive practice, as a way of entering into the spirit of Lent.


Take some time with your family this Ash Wednesday to discuss how you would like to prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection through this lenten season.


Additional information and ideas can be found at www.teachingcatholickids.com/lent-ideas

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