Most of us know that Lent is the 40 day season of preparation  and penance that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Palm Sunday.  It’s followed by Holy Week, true to its name, since it is the time of the most sacred liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. This entire time is considered by most to be a great journey, to follow the liturgical road of the Lenten celebrations that lead and prepare us to die and rise with Jesus Christ through the liturgies of Holy Week. This can be “just another Lent and Holy Week,” or you can choose to enter into this journey more fully.  Begin the journey by receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday at one of the distribution services or at mass.  There is no better way to start the journey than with the reminder that we should “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”  On the Sundays of Lent, hear the words of scripture with a fresh perspective, experience the stories anew, and see the rites with new eyes. Come to the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings and pray the Way of the Cross. Go to confession and receive the Lord’s forgiveness. Prayerfully consider celebrating the Triduum – the ‘3 days in 1’ – which begins the evening of Holy Thursday and ends the evening of Easter Sunday. The solemn celebrations of Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord, and Easter Vigil are the most sacred in the Church.  Participating in them is a faith experience like no other. We challenge you to make this year’s journey to Easter more than “just another Lent and Holy Week.”

This story was originally published in March 2017 Edition of The St. Francis Grapevine, our parish newsletter.