Lent is a time of prayer and penance, when Christ wants to lead us back to our baptismal promises of dying to sin and of living for God. We prepare ourselves to enter once again into Jesus’ Paschal mystery and to renew it in our lives.
Dying to sin
During Lent, God’s people seek to put sin out of their lives by uprooting habits and tendencies that are contrary to God’s will. It is a time of conversion, of turning away from our sins and of turning back to God.
Living for God
The Lord Jesus is calling us to be people of praise and prayer, and living signs of his love for all. During Lent, we open our hearts to our Father, so that we may live with Christ for God.
Today the Church invites us to prepare for Easter by doing individual penance and penance as a group; by reading God’s word more carefully; by praying more ardently, including sincere prayer for sinners; by giving of ourselves to the service of God’s people. (Source: CCCB, Living Lent)
The season of Lent has traditionally been a time of prolonged penance for the Christian community. Together we prepare for the great Easter mysteries by committing ourselves to fulfill our baptismal call to maturity, holiness, service, and community.
Bishop McGrattan reiterates the importance of works of mercy, which have always been the Church’s witness to “love in action” in every age. They express our mercy, compassion and justice for one another. We invite you to read our Bishop's advice and practical examples on how to care for one another with the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is a witness to fraternal charity and a work of justice pleasing to God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2462).
There are several special opportunities for almsgiving through donations. Please visit our Giving page to find ways to donate to your parish community and other ministries in the Diocese.
Fasting & Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are universal days of fasting and abstinence from meat.
Anyone over the age of 18 and under the age of 59 are obliged to fast and abstain.
Fasting, in the Latin Church, is the limitation of food and drink – typically to one main meal and two smaller meals (that together do not equal the regular meal in size), with no solid foods in between. Abstinence is the refraining from certain kinds of food or drink, typically meat. While all Fridays are days of abstinence from meat, in Canada “Catholics may substitute special acts of charity or piety on this day.” ~ Ordo, note 29b and 29d.
But how did fasting become such an important means of preparing for the Eucharist and of learning virtue through self-discipline? Read this brief reflection on Lenten Fasting
Daily Reflections in your inbox
Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through all forty days of Lent, receive a daily email with a short video to help you reconnect with yourself and your God through the work of the following speaker and publications. Be open with what God can do in your life with just an email, a short video or an open heart. We invite you to subscribe to one of these daily Lenten Reflections.
Best Lent Ever with Matthew Kelly
Best Lent Ever journeys through Matthew Kelly’s latest book, I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life’s Essential Daily Habit. Subscribe here
Lenten Reflections with Bishop Barron
Spend your time with Christ in the Gospel this Lent with daily reflections alongside Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire community.
40 Days to Grace & Glory with Dr Gray
Daily Lenten Reflections with Dr. Tim Gray, explaining the Scriptures with concrete ideas for your Christian life. Subscribe here
Stations of the Cross
- Swipe & Pray - Click here to pray the Short Way of the Cross used by the Franciscans Fathers on their Missions
- Stations of the Cross with St. Mary's in Cochrane. Play video
- Stations of the Cross with St. Paul's Parish in Airdrie. Play video
- Stations of the Cross for Children with Brother Francis (FORMED.ORG). Play video
- Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori, narrated by Dr. Cristopher Blum (FORMED.ORG). Play audio
Lenten Missions, Retreats, & Reconciliation
Lenten resources for Families with Children
The following activities might be helpful as we prepare our family to enter once again into Jesus’ Paschal mystery and to renew it in our lives:
Observing Lent with Your Family
Observing Lent with Your Family
Lenten Arts & Craft Ideas
Arts & crafts projects suitable for the Lenten Season for children (elementary level).
Get projects here
Lenten Calendar for Kids
Fun visual for kids so they can see the 40 days of lent of lent going by, and Easter approaching. Download printable here
40 Ideas for 40 Days
Engaging resources for family to use with their children during the Lenten Season.
Click here for list of ideas
Resources from Formed.org for children:
- Brother Francis - Let's Learn about Lent Lent with Brother Francis - FORMED
- Brother Francis - Stations of the Cross Brother Francis: The Stations of the Cross - Stations of the Cross - FORMED
- Brother Francis - Lenten Meditation series Lent with Brother Francis - FORMED