Our observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes our dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 16, 2017.
The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. 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. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally — not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents.
In addition, Lent is about more than these individual practices. As Catholics we are all responsible to "hand on the faith" through our actions as witnessed by those who are joining us through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process. For more information about RCIA, please click here.
- To find a Mass near you, please click "Find a Mass" on the top of this page (for special Masses, enter keywords "Ash Wednesday," "Easter," etc.)
Find opportunities to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation by clicking "Find a Confession." We also have printable "How to Go to Confession/Act of Contrition" Cards (English and Spanish)
Watch "Catholic ID"
Watch "C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith."
- To learn more about Lent, please visit the website of the USCCB by clicking here.
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Fasting requires that a person take only one meal a day, but current Church discipline permits one to take a main meal and two lesser meals which together do not equal the main meal.
The liturgical calendar begins with the First Sunday of Advent, typically the last Sunday in November or the first Sunday in December.
The Order of Mass specifies the proper sequence of events for any Mass or liturgy.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults includes the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist, but also all of the rites of the catechumenate.
The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the seven sacraments.
The truth of the Catholic Church, one post at a time.