Lent is a time when Christ wants to lead us back to our baptismal promises of dying to sin and of living for God. Lent is observed for 40 days, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Holy Thursday, and does not include Sundays. The three pillars of Lent help us become closer to God: fasting (giving up), almsgiving (giving to others) and prayer. These practices help prepare ourselves to enter once again into Jesus' Paschal mystery and to renew it in our lives. In the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, students and staff observe the Lenten season by engaging in a variety of activities that support these pillars.
Prayer for Lent:
All praise to you, Father in heaven,
for leading us out of the darkness of sin
into the light of your kingdom.
We bless you for sending us your Son
to save us,
to die for us that we might die to sin,
to be raised that we might share your life.
We thank you for giving us your Spirit of love,
to live in our hearts and lead us to you.
All glory, praise and honour be yours,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and evermore. Amen.
Adapted from Living Lent: National Liturgy Office, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Shrove Tuesday Prayer
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for it is from your goodness that we have this day
to celebrate on the threshold of the Season of Lent.
Tomorrow we will fast and abstain from meat.
Today we feast.
We thank you for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us.
We thank you especially for one another.
As we give you thanks,
we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do.
As we share these wonderful gifts together,
we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those
who need our support.
Prepare us for tomorrow.
Tasting the fullness of what we have today,
let us experience some hunger tomorrow.
May our fasting make us more alert
and may it heighten our consciousness
so that we might be ready to hear your Word
and respond to your call.
As our feasting fills us with gratitude
so may our fasting and abstinence hollow out in us
a place for deeper desires
and an attentiveness to hear the cry of the poor.
May our self-denial turn our hearts to you
and give us a new freedom for
generous service to others.
We ask you these graces
with our hearts full of delight
and stirring with readiness for the journey ahead.
We ask them with confidence
in the name of Jesus the Lord.