Definitions Concerning Lent


Originally a celebration just before Lent. Carnival is Latin for “farewell to meat.”

Laetare Sunday

The fourth Sunday of Lent, which marks the halfway point, celebrated with rose vestments instead of the usual violet.

Maundy Thursday

An ancient English name for Holy Thursday. It comes from the Latin, Mandatum novum da nobis (“I give you a new commandment,” John 13:34) that began the ancient foot-washing ceremony.

Palm Sunday

The celebration of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem before he was arrested. In Scripture, people placed palm branches on the road as Jesus road on a donkey into Jerusalem.

Passion Sunday

The Sunday before Easter (also called “Palm Sunday”) in which the passion of the Lord (the story of Jesus’ arrest and death) is traditionally read.

Spy Wednesday

A name for the Wednesday of Holy Week that alludes to Judas agreeing with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus.


The “Great Three Days” -the three-part celebration begin-ning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, continuing with The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, and concluding with the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

On Palm Sunday, we commemorate Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. As Jesus rode into the city on a small donkey, the Jews gathered around him, throwing cloaks and palm branches on the road and exclaiming praises as he passed by. So at Palm Sunday Mass, there is a blessing of palms which the faithful hold as they process into church. The blessed palms are later kept in the home as a witness to faith in Jesus Christ. During Palm Sunday Mass, the Gospel account of the Passion of Christ is announced.
Holy Thursday
On Holy Thursday, we  celebrate a special Mass of the Lord's Supper  that commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. On the night before Jesus Christ was crucified, he changed bread and wine into his own Body and Blood, and he commanded the Apostles  and their successors through the centuries  to act in his stead and re-present this sacrifice.
So at every Mass, by way of transubstantiation, the bread and wine offered by the priest becomes Christ's Body and Blood again.
Just as Christ did for his 12 Apostles at the Last Supper and as he commanded them to do likewise, during the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the priest  who represents Christ  ceremoniously washes the feet of 12 people in the congregation.
After the Last Supper and before he was arrested and condemned to death, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, accompanied by two of the disciples. So after the Holy Thursday Mass, the remaining sacred hosts are carried out of the sanctuary to an “altar of repose,” and the people go with the Eucharistic Christ in a procession to the altar of repose. People stay for a time, adoring the wondrous sacrament that Jesus instituted that day 2,000 years ago.

The Mass of the Lord's Supper finished, the church  now without the Eucharist  is truly empty. So the tabernacle light the tabernacle door is left open, exposing the vacant space inside. The altar is stripped bare of  its linens and candles, Holy water is removed from the church's fonts and the sacraments are not celebrated until the Easter vigil. Like the first Christians bereft of Jesus and mourning the two days after the crucifixion, the church stands unadorned until the Easter vigil Mass. 
Good Friday
Good Friday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. Those over 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. We refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Good Friday.
The Stations of the Cross devotion is centered on the Passion of Christ. While many pray the meditative prayer on their own throughout the year, it can be an especially poignant experience during Holy Week, when the entire church recalls the way of Jesus' suffering and death. By praying the Stations of the Cross, a person makes a spiritual pilgrimage to the principal scenes of the salvific Passion of the Lord, aided by artistic representations of those scenes.
On Good Friday, the church gathers for the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion, which includes a reading of a Gospel account of the Passion, Holy Communion (consecrated at Mass on Thursday night) and veneration of the Cross.  The faithful process to the cross  at the foot of the sanctuary, as if to receive communion. There each person reverences the crucifix with a kiss or a bow.  Ceremonies start at 3 p.m.  the hour at which Christ died on the cross.
Holy Saturday
On this day, the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, and meditates on His Passion and Death and His descent into Hell. With prayer and fasting we await His glorious Easter resurrection. Mary is also a Holy Saturday symbol. According to Catholic tradition, Mary represents the entire body of the Church. As she awaited in faith for the victorious triumph of Her Son over death on the first Holy Saturday, so we too wait with Mary on the present Holy Saturday.

Stations of the Cross: During Lent we have the Stations of the Cross led by various groups of our parish. May I request the group leaders to inform your group members to be present for leading the stations? Thanks,  


Money and pride make people ignore God’s word,’ Pope says in message for Lent

by Catholic News Service

posted Tuesday, 7 Feb 2017


Pope Francis (CNS)

The Pope's Lenten message, released on February 7, is entitled, 'The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift'

Without making room for God’s word in their heart, people will never be able to welcome and love all human life, Pope Francis said.

“Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love,” the Pope said in his message for Lent, which begins March 1 for Latin-rite Catholics.

“The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable,” he wrote.

Released by the Vatican on Feburary 7, the text of the Pope’s Lenten message — entitled, The Word is a gift. Other persons are gift — focused on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in the Gospel of St Luke (16:19-31).

The parable calls for sincere conversion, the Pope said, and it “provides a key to understanding what we need to do in order to attain true happiness and eternal life.”

In the Gospel account, Lazarus and his suffering are described in great detail. While he is “practically invisible to the rich man,” the Gospel gives him a name and a face, upholding him as worthy, as “a gift, a priceless treasure, a human being whom God loves and cares for, despite his concrete condition as an outcast,” the Pope wrote.

The parable shows that “a right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognising their value,” he said. “A poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change.”


But in order to understand how to open one’s heart and see the other as gift, a person must see how the word of God operates.

One way to do that, he said, is to be aware of the temptations and traps the rich man fell victim to, derailing his search for true happiness.

The nameless “rich man” lives an opulent, ostentatious life, the Pope wrote, and his love of money leads to vanity and pride — “the lowest rung of this moral degradation.”

“The rich man dresses like a king and acts like a god, forgetting that he is merely mortal,” he said. “For those corrupted by love of riches, nothing exists beyond their own ego. Those around them do not come into their line of sight. The result of attachment to money is a sort of blindness. The rich man does not see the poor man who is starving, hurting, lying at his door.”

Love of money, St Paul warned, “is the root of all evils,” and the Pope said, it is also “the main cause of corruption and a source of envy, strife and suspicion.”

“Instead of being an instrument at our service for doing good and showing solidarity toward others, money can chain us and the entire world to a selfish logic that leaves no room for love and hinders peace,” he added.

The rich man’s eyes are finally opened after he and Lazarus are dead; Lazarus finds comfort in heaven and the rich man finds torment in “the netherworld,” because, as Abraham explains, “a kind of fairness is restored” in the afterlife and “life’s evils are balanced by good,” the pope said.

The rich man then asks for an extraordinary sign — Lazarus coming back from the dead — to be given to his family members so they will repent and not make the same mistake as he.

But, Abraham said the people have plenty of teachings with “Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them,” the Pope said.

This explains what the real problem is for the rich man’s and those like him: “At the root of all his ills was the failure to heed God’s word. As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbor,” the Pope said.

The Pope asked that Lent be a time “for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour.”

“May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need,” he said, especially by taking part in the various Lenten campaigns sponsored by local churches.