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LENT




The annual Lenten Season is a fitting time to climb the holy mountain of Easter.  The Lenten season has a double character, namely to prepare both catechumens and faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery.  The catechumens, with the rite of election and scrutinies and by catechesis, are prepared for the celebration for the sacraments of Christian initiation; the faithful, ever more attentive to the Word of God and prayer, and prepare themselves by penance for the renewal of their baptismal promises (Caeremoniale episcoporum, 249).


1.
Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive on Holy Thursday.

2.
Lenten weekdays are not commemorated on solemnities and feasts.  Ash Wednesday and the days of the Joly Week take precedence over all solemnities and feasts.

3.
Volume II of the Liturgy of the Hours is used from Ash Wednesday through Pentecost Sunday, the close of the Easter season.

4.
All memorials of the saints occurring during lent are observed as optional.  Hence, they may be omitted or observed as commemorations.

5.
Alleluia is not sung or said from the beginning of Lent until the Easter Vigil; nor is the “Te Denum” sung at OR on Sundays of Lent.

6.
During Lent the Altar should not be decorated with flowers, and musical intruments may be played only to give necessary support to the singing.  On the Fourth Sunday of Lent (*Laetare) and on solemnities and feasts, musical instruments may be played and the altar decorated with flowers.

7.
If marriages are to place during Lent, couples are to be reminded that the wedding plans should respect special nature of this liturgical season; they should refrain from much pomp or display.

8.
The readings for the Lenten Masses have been chosen in relation to themes of baptismal renewal and penance.  The gospels and readings from the scriptures have been selected for their mutual relationship.

9.
Optional Prayers over the People are given in Roman Missal next to the Order of Mass. During lent any one of these may be used in place of the usual simple blessing given at the end of mass.  The Ordo suggests specific blessings throughout the season.

10.
It is fitting that the Lenten season conclude, both for the individual Christian as well as for the whole  Christian community, with a penitential celebration, so that all may be helped to prepare to celebrate more fully the Paschal Mystery.  Such a celebration should take place before the Easter Triduum. (cf. Misericordia Dei).