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CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS

Lent in our Catholic home

This gentle blog from Elizabeth Claire shares traditions for celebrating our Catholic faith at home.

The History and Tradition of Fasting and Abstinence

A PDF explanation of the tradition appropriate for teens, young adults and adults

Preparing for Lent

In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three pillars of a spiritually fruitful Lent. He then challenges us to try new ways to exercise these Lenten practices, sharing several simple strategies for drawing closer to God during this holy season. [Young Adult, Adult]

Catholic history of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Lent and Ash Wednesday

The historical roots of Carnival and Mardi Gras lie in the Catholic calendar. It is the “last hurrah” before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That’s why the enormous party in New Orleans, for example, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of street sweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home. Learn about how these are all connected in this video.

This Time of Forty Days

Lent is approaching quickly! In today’s culture and climate, we need every encouragement we can in order to test ourselves, to prove ourselves worthy to be disciples of Christ. Lent is a fantastic opportunity to die to oneself, and learn to cling all the more to Christ, who loves us and gave Himself up on the cross for us. And yet, Lent is not meant to be sad or depressing, but filled with joy. This comedy song is Nick Alexander’s attempt to inject some much needed joy into the Lenten season. May it encourage you and give you laughter!

Ash Wednesday explained…

In this animated video Dusty explains the meaning and origins of Ash Wednesday to Mercury.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Although many other Christians observe it too, it is chiefly observed by Catholics. It comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting with the ashes symbolizing the dust from which God made us.

Ash Wednesday & Lent in 60 Seconds. With LEGO!

What is Lent? What is Ash Wednesday? This video explains the meaning of both in 60 seconds. With LEGO!

40 Ideas for 40 Days

Ideas for catechists to use with children during Lent from Catechists Journey

Forty Lenten Ideas

A PDF by Sr. Janet Schaeffler –Lent approaches each year, our minds turn to, “what will we do; what will we give up?” Instead of giving up, why not put something in … something that will take hold and stay with us for the rest of our lives – since Lent is about change/conversion. [Adult]

4 Reasons for Fasting

Why do we fast? Fr. Mike Schmitz explains that it’s not about getting more love and attention from God. Fasting is about self-mastery, discernment, sacrifice, and being a co-redeemer with Jesus. In this video, Fr. Mike dives deeper into these four reasons, helping you make the most of your fasting this Lent. [Young Adult, Adult]

Ash Wednesday & Lent in Two Minutes (YouTube Video from BustedHalo)

A brief kinetic type video explaining the what and why of Ash Wednesday and Lent, from the history of wearing ashes dating back to the Old Testament, to the practices of Catholics and Christians during Lent.

CRS Rice Bowl 2017/Encounter Lent

56 videos on what is Lent, stories of those who benefit from Operation Rice Bowl, and Stations of the Cross in both English and Spanish. From Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the US. [Teens, Young Adult, Adult]

Lenten Resources from RCLBenziger

PDF downloadable handouts for catechists to use with children during Lent/Holy Week

Lenten Resources

Downloadable Lenten resources from Sadlier that help disciples of all ages make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works

Lenten Activities for Children

For children and families from Catholic Icing

Lent – Resources for your Lenten Journey

A library of downloads and other resources on many aspects of Lent and Holy Week for all ages from Loyola Press

LITURGICAL RESOURCES

24 Hours for the Lord

A downloadable guide from Our Sunday Visitor to help parishes celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. The suggested dates are March 24-25, 2017.

The Significance of Ash Wednesday

They may just be ashes, but Fr. Mike points out that what they represent goes far beyond mere dust of the earth. With a simple cross on the forehead, we are recognizing that we are far from perfect, but that God loves and redeems us—not despite our brokenness, but in the midst of it. If you want to start off your Lent with a reminder of Ash Wednesday’s deeper meaning, listen to Fr. Mike’s heartfelt words in this video.

Ash Wednesday at St. Agnes Church

Students from Holy Family School joined members of St. Agnes Parish for Ash Wednesday Mass and distribution of ashes

Ash Wednesday 2016: History, meaning and reason for fasting

Black crosses marked the foreheads of many Christians on Feb. 10, 2016, signifying the start of the Lenten season. It’s all part of Ash Wednesday. Learn more about the religious day, from the symbolism behind the black crosses to its history, in this brief primer.

Liturgy and Life (2): The Elect: Journeying Toward Baptism (Part 1 of 2)

The elect celebrating the turning point of the catechumenate, their journey toward baptism, with the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent. [Adult]

Liturgy and Life (2): The Elect: Journeying Toward Baptism (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 2, the Elect celebrating the turning point of the catechumenate, their journey toward baptism, with the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent. [Adult]

Liturgy and Life (3): Purification and Enlightenment (Part 1 of 2)

Continue the journey with the elect preparing for baptism as they celebrate the Scrutinies during this Lenten period of purification and enlightenment as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.[Adult]

Liturgy and Life (3): Purification and Enlightenment (Part 2 of 2)

Continue the journey with the Elect preparing for baptism as they celebrate the Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer during this Lenten period of purification and enlightenment as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. [Adult]

Palm Sunday

Video for teens from Outside Da Box Productions – a reflection on the crucifixion of Jesus and sacrificial love

PRAYERS & DEVOTIONS

Lent as a great opportunity to grow closer to the Lord

LUX NY provides a brief commentary by Fr. Richard Baker on how Lent is a great opportunity to grow closer to the Lord.

Lent - A journey into the wilderness

Lent is the penitential season of approximately 40 days set aside by the Church in order for the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Check out this video from Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe.

Living Lent

Living Lent Daily is a daily e-mail series delivering fresh reflections based on the Scriptures of Lent. Each day’s message includes a quotation from the day’s Scripture readings and a brief reflection to spur meditation, prayer, and self-examination. The messages also include suggestions for further exploration of Lenten themes through additional online articles and prayers. [Adult]

Praying Lent

“Praying Lent” online resources for prayer and retreat for Lent from Creighton University (young adult, adult). Choose recipes, daily prayer, audio and video retreats, etc.

Lent Resources

An online collection of prayers and retreats, video reflections and seasonal articles from Ignatian Spirituality.

Daily Reflections for Lent

Bishop Robert Barron’s Daily Reflections for Lent emailed to you each day [Adult]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures – Video options for Cycle A

Selected by Joe Paprocki, video reflections for each Sunday of Lent. Options for adults and teens/young adults.

Stations of the Cross for Children

Catherine Odell from Loyola Kids Book of Everyday Prayers offers a pdf guide and multimedia presentation of the Stations adapted for children. [Children]

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Scripted versions based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented here as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s passion. [Adult]

Stations of the Cross

Audio version of the Stations [Adult]

Lenten Adventures

Free emails during Lent for families – includes videos, games, and other activities to help families deepen faith and focus on Lent

The Prodigal Son Story

A contemporary rendition of the Prodigal Son Story, good for teens through adults

Lenten Retreat for Teens

Themed reflections for each week of Lent from Good Ground Press