Lenten Observances

Liturgically, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes just before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (April 2 this year). Other Lenten observances extend to Holy Saturday.

The traditions of Lenten prayer, almsgiving, and fasting provide focal points for spiritual growth.

Praying the Seven Penitential Psalms (Ps. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143), the Songs of the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 42, 49, 50, and 52), and the Way of the Cross are common forms of Lenten prayer.

Almsgiving means giving to the poor, and Catholics often engage in other charitable activities during Lent as well. Almsgiving and other acts of penitence express sorrow for past sin and a desire to do better. The Church leaves it up to individuals to decide whether or not to include Sundays in individually chosen, daily penitential acts.

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