CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS
A PDF explanation of the tradition appropriate for teens, young adults and adults
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]
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.
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!
In this animated video Dusty explains the meaning and origins of Ash Wednesday to Mercury.
What is Lent? What is Ash Wednesday? This video explains the meaning of both in 60 seconds. With LEGO!
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]
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]
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.
66 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]
PDF downloadable handouts for catechists to use with children during Lent/Holy Week
Downloadable Lenten resources from Sadlier that help disciples of all ages make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works
A library of downloads and other resources on many aspects of Lent and Holy Week for all ages from Loyola Press
A downloadable guide from Our Sunday Visitor to help parishes celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent.
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.
Students from Holy Family School joined members of St. Agnes Parish for Ash Wednesday Mass and distribution of ashes
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
Video for teens from Outside Da Box Productions – a reflection on the crucifixion of Jesus and sacrificial love
PRAYERS & DEVOTIONS
LUX NY provides a brief commentary by Fr. Richard Baker on how Lent is a great opportunity to grow closer to the Lord.
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” online resources for prayer and retreat for Lent from Creighton University (young adult, adult). Choose recipes, daily prayer, audio and video retreats, etc.
Selected by Joe Paprocki, video reflections for each Sunday of Lent. Options for adults and teens/young adults.
Catherine Odell from Loyola Kids Book of Everyday Prayers offers a pdf guide and multimedia presentation of the Stations adapted for children. [Children]
Scripted versions based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s passion. [Adult]
Free emails during Lent for families – includes videos, games, and other activities to help families deepen faith and focus on Lent
A contemporary rendition of the Prodigal Son Story, good for teens through adults