Mass News and Events
† Lenten Commitment Cards
Available at the entrance at church
Cards with suggestions of Lenten commitments are available on the table in the entrance to the church. Please pick one up and make one or more of these suggestions a part of your preparation for Easter.
† Music During Lent
During Lent, the music at Mass is more subdued than usual. This means no preludes before Mass, no postludes afterward, and no instrumental music during Mass (like when the choirs are going to Communion). This is to give us more silence for our own personal reflection. When Easter arrives, it will bring with it an explosion of music!
† Fast and Abstinence
Lenten Regulations and Recommendations
In accordance with the provisions of Canon law (cf. Canons 1249-1253) as implemented by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for the United States, the following regulations are to be observed by the Catholics in the Diocese of Orange in the penitential practices: †1. It is to be noted for all that it is by Divine Law that the faithful are bound to do penance and, as a specification of this obligation by the Church, some form of mortification by those 14 years of age and older is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year. This obligation is in itself a serious one.
2. Everyone 14 years of age and older is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent. If for some serious reason a person must eat meat on a Friday in Lent, some other form of selfsacrifice should be performed.
3. Everyone who is at least 18 years of age and not yet 60 is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
a. On these two days of fast only one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals on these days is not permitted, but liquids are allowed.
b. Where health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.
† What is Lent and Why Do We Receive Ashes
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Why we receive the ashes
Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told
"Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins -- just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days' penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.