March the 4th of this year is Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” or “Shrove Tuesday”. It is the celebration of excess before we enter into the penitential season of Lent. Some go to reckless abandon in their partying, others simply enjoy a richer meal before the Lenten fast begins. Enjoy Mardi Gras in a safe and healthy way.
Then on March 5th we begin Lent. It is a time of fasting and prayer, as I noted in the last post. Liturgically we even fast from the use of the jubilant “Alleluia” of Easter, and move to purple vestments and simpler decorations in church. We begin with being signed with ashes which are blessed and imposed after the homily. These ashes are of previous years palm branches, and are placed upon the forehead with one of these formulas:
REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL
REMEMBER, YOU ARE DUST, AND TO DUST YOU WILL RETURN.
The season of Lent is for reflection, for prayer and fasting, for almsgiving (charity toward the needy), for penance and interior conversion. Use this time well. Grow ever closer to the Lord Jesus, who died that we might have life. Prepare your hearts to once again sing with great joy the “ALLELUIA” of our faith at Easter.