THE LITURGICAL SEASON OF LENT DURING A PANDEMIC

LENT IS HERE

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. The celebration of Easter, of being reborn in the Risen Lord to a new life, will only have meaning to the degree that we ‘die to the old self”. Thus, the Church asks us to live this period of Lent, with Christ in the desert, as a period of forty days devoted to inward renewal through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Let us prayerfully consider before Lent how we might make best use of this time to imitate the Lord in His dedication to the Father so that His resurrection may take deep root in our thoughts, words and actions throughout Lent and forever.

  • Lenten Confessions: Fr. Michael is in the church Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 9:00 A.M., Saturday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., and Sunday from 8:30 to 11:30 A.M. Confession can be celebrated at those times by simply asking him to hear your confession.
  • Stations of the Cross: A great Lenten spiritual exercise that can be prayed privately in the church. The church is open every Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.—maximum 10 persons at a time.
    Helpful Resources for Stations of the Cross

    1. Stations from St. Alphonsus Liguorihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEIvGC1WsbM(traditional)
    2. Stations of Cross – prayers- Catholic online www.catholic.org prayers – stations (video presentation -taken in Holy Land)

    This spiritual exercise is encouraged especially on Fridays during Lent but can be prayed daily as desired.

  • Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast (one full meal, and two lighter meals a day with no eating between meals), and abstinence (no eating of meat). The law of abstinence obliges those 14 years of age and older, and the law of fast obliges all those from ages 18 through 59 years of age.
  • Lenten Retreat: This year, due to the pandemic, there is no parish retreat in the church. You may find many excellent virtual retreats online. Sister Gabriel is recommending A Lenten Retreat called Journey into the Wilderness by the Irish Jesuits– an 8-session audio presentation of 15 minutes each, with time for personal prayer and reflection. It can be found at:  www.pathwaystogod.org/resources/wilderness-lent-retreat. The following schedule is suggested: start first session on Ash Wed; 2nd session on First Sunday of Lent; 3rd session on Second Sunday of Lent and continue each Sunday of Lent and then conclude on Good Friday. (If you start late then adjust to your own pace.) Sister Gabriel will make herself available to discuss the sessions with those interested on parish phone on Mondays – leave message at 416-534-4219 ext. 231 or by email: gabrielriddle66@gmail.com.
  • The Church recommends that we observe not only Good Friday, but the other Fridays of Lent as days of abstinence, or that we perform some act of charity as an alternative – the choice is yours. Lenten penance should be external and social, as well as internal and individual.

The highest point in the Church’s year of prayer is the Easter Triduum of the dying and rising of the Lord Jesus. We prepare for this three-day period by the season of Lent, and prolong it for the great 50 days of the Easter season. Arrangements for the celebration of the Easter Triduum will be announced closer to the date according to the Provincial Pandemic Protocols.

LENTEN RECONCILIATION SERVICES

  • Fr. Michael is in the church every day to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and distribute the Eucharist (Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 9:00 A.M., Saturday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday from 8:30 to 11:30 A.M.). To celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation any day, simply ask to celebrate it. If you desire a longer discussion, please consider booking an appointment for a longer period of time. These times will change if we are permitted to once again celebrate Mass as a community.