The early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection. It became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty-day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season, converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the participation in the life of the Church.
In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.
As we prepare to receive the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 6, let us be reminded that we receive the mark of the cross on our foreheads as an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for our sins.
You are invited, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent:
- By self-examination and repentance;
- By prayer, fasting, and self-denial;
- And by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us each bow humbly before our Creator and Redeemer.