The meaning of Lent. Lent is the 40 day season of preparation between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day. Christians prepare to celebrate the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. During Lent Christians try even harder than usual to live good lives, and overcome the sins that separate us from God.
The colour of Lent is violet (purple), the colour of penitence and mourning. In Lent, we remember that through our baptism we died to sin and were raised to a new life in Christ. This penitential season transports us back to the moment of the fundamental break in our relationship with our Creator and therefore to the possibility of a fundamental healing in that relationship. We prepare for the celebration of Easter, the three sacred days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Day, the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection.
At St Augustine's, there are a few special activities to help us grow closer to Christ during Lent.
Bible Study- Tuesdays, 7 pm - We learn about, and pray through, the Sunday Gospel readings in Lent.
Eucharistic Adoration (Praying in the presence of Jesus) - Thursdays, 7 - 8 pm
Drop in at any time to spend some time in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Stations of the Cross - Fridays, 6-6.30 pm
And don't forget - there is Mass each day, as usual (Monday-Friday - 7 pm, on Wednesdays 12 pm)!
THE UNFOLDING MEANING OF OUR LENTEN PREPARATION
On Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, we receive a cross marked on the forehead with the ashes. A recommended day for penitential fasting and abstinence from meat (out of the three meals having only one full meal).
On the Second Sunday of Lent the main theme of Gospel is Christ’s hidden glory. The sight of Jesus transfigured is to strengthen us in our Lenten discipline by the anticipated vision of the Son of Man raised from the dead. The three figures, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, are all models of fasting: Jesus alone in the desert for forty days, Moses alone on Mount Sinai for forty days (Exodus 24:18), Elijah alone encountering God at Mount Horeb after a forty-day journey. Moses and Elijah appear and speak with Jesus of his coming suffering, his ‘exodus’ or ‘passage’. In the Epistle (Phil 3:17-4:1), we eagerly await the coming of our Saviour, who will then give a new form to our body.
On the Third Sunday of Lent, we are invited to abundant life (Isa.55:1-9) while being encouraged and comforted by God’s presence (Psalm 63:1-8). The entry to this abundant life is through repentance which today’s Gospel highlights in the parable of the barren fig tree. Our conversion is nourished by God’s love, who knows that the individual is a frail creature, a small bird caught in a net, helpless upnless God intervenes. (Psalm 24:15-16).
The Fourth Sunday of Lent marks out the middle of the Lenten season. It is also called ‘Laetare Sunday’, from the first word of the Introit ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her’. It is also called Mothering Sunday: ‘the Jerusalem above...is our mother.’ It was customary to visit the cathedral, the mother church of the diocese, the church where one was baptised, and also one’s own mother. Today, catechumens are invited into the embrace of the Mother Church and the house of God. Today we particularly pray for the confirmands of our parish
The old name of the Fifth Sunday of Lent is Passion Sunday, the beginning of a two-week period called Passion Time, which focused on the passion and death of Christ. Today all the statues and crosses are veiled. Entering a veiled church is like entering a house of mourning with the curtains drawn. The liturgy today tells of the Power of the Cross. In these final two weeks of Lent we still turn toward the cross, but the main focus is not to mourn but to ponder more intensely the Paschal mystery, Jesus’ passage through death to life beyond.
Holy Week begins with the Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday. This is the central week of the Christian year, the intense and exclusive concentration on the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Week enlarges our understanding of what has changed after the death and resurrection of Christ, what went on then and what continues to go on in the present time. Our procession symbolically represents Jerusalem. We carry crosses made of palm-branches as signs of life, hope, and victory. This procession dramatizes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as the culmination of his ministry. The procession is also an expression of willingness to take up the cross and to follow the Lord of glory along the way of sorrows, through death to the life that lies beyond. God’s might is revealed through Jesus’ humility. The victorious King rides not on a horse, but on a beast of burden, a donkey.