Piety, Fasting, Alms Giving

Lent this year begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17.

What is Lent?

Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday. During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture, to service by giving alms, and to sacrifice through fasting.

Catholics are encouraged to pray more during Lent, especially with Scripture. Lent is also an ideal time to receive properly the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. The Stations of the Cross are commonly prayed during Lent. This 14-step devotion commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man and focus on specific events of His last day.

Catholics of age 14 and older abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. In addition, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics from age 18-59 fast, limiting themselves to one full meal and two smaller meals each day.  A reflection on Lenten Fasting.   CRS Rice Bowl

Moved by the sacrifice of Christ, many Christians combine almsgiving with fasting, giving to the poor the money they saved by eating, drinking or buying less as they rely more upon God’s abundant grace.