During this sixth week of the church’s year we begin the Season of Lent next Wednesday is ASH WEDNESDAY. There will be 40 days of preparation for Easter. During these days we are asked to embark upon some special penance. In the first instance Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are two days in which we are asked not to eat meat.
These are called “Days of Abstinence”. On the other days during Lent, particularly Fridays, we are invited to fast or undertake some special act of kindness towards others. Lent is a time to pray, to give thanks to God for what we are soon to celebrate and, if we possibly can, to change our lives for the better.
The 40 days of preparation prior to Easter, the season we call “Lent” goes back to the year 325AD. It is an ancient devotion of the Christian Church and even for us it remains as an opportunity to “Turn our lives around” in the 21st Century”.
The official statement relating to Lenten Penance is on the notice board at the back of the church. Essentially it invites people between the ages of 14 and 59 to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On the other Fridays of Lent we are invited to fast, pray or undertake special charitable works. Fasting is not necessary for young people under 18 years of age or for people who are over 59 years of age.