What’s Been Happening in Religious Education
The season of Lent will begin next week with Ash Wednesday. This is an important time within our Church calendar as it is when we have an opportunity for reflection and preparation for the upcoming events of Holy Week. The highest point within our Church year are the events of the Easter Triduum. Without the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, we would not have the opportunity of salvation and the chance one day, to meet God face to face.
As a school, we will be participating in Ash Wednesday liturgies during periods 1 and 2 and all of our students will have an opportunity to reflect upon the implications that the season of penance, preparation and reflection has on our lives.
During the liturgy, ashes are distributed. These ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday. At my own parish, we have been asked to return the palms that we took home on Palm Sunday last year so that they can be used during this liturgy.
In the early Church, people who had sinned would wear sackcloth and would cover themselves with ashes. This was a very public sign that they were sinners and were seeking reentry into the Church. This was the beginning of their public penance. In placing the ashes on our own foreheads, we too are reminded of our own sinfulness and the need to repent.
There are now only two days within the Church calendar that we are required to fast and abstain from eating meat; Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and below the age of 60 are required to fast. This means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day with no food in between. For those who are over the age, you are required to refrain from eating meat or any food made with meat.
Lent is a time where we have an opportunity to not only give something up, but also a time to take something up. It is a time to look at our spiritual life to see where we can make improvements in our relationship with God by perhaps taking an extra five minutes in prayer, or perhaps attending mass during the week, or receiving the sacrament of reconciliation more often. These actions give us an opportunity to examine our relationship with God and to make it stronger as we prepare ourselves for the Easter event.
If you are interested in taking something up, I have included some links to a Lenten calendar for either your phones or tablets. These are generally very good resources that allow you a few minutes everyday to contemplate, to reflect and to grow in your relationship with God.
Download the Lent calendar: iphone app
Download the Lent calendar ipad app
Download the Lent calendar android phone app
Download the Lent calendar android tablet app
Leader of Religion and Mission