The season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday before the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. From then on until Easter Sunday the Church celebrates the Easter Triduum of Christ’s passion and death, burial, and resurrection. Lent is characterized by penance for our past sins, works of mercy especially towards the poor, and personal preparation for the renewal of our baptismal promises on Easter Vigil. Lent has two features penitential and baptismal. Our tears of penance renew in our hearts and souls the water of baptism. 

The ashes imposed on us on Ash Wednesday remind us that we are dust and to dust, we shall return and that therefore the entire life of a Christian should be marked by works of self-denial and generosity. The traditional discipline of Lent consists of constant prayer and reading of God’s word, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstinence from meat on Fridays, and works of mercy especially to those who have less in life. What is important is that through prayer and good works we allow God’s grace to bring about our interior conversion. The sacrament of penance should accompany our Lenten observance. 

Holy Week is the high point of the Lenten season. it opens with the procession with blessed palms and the gospel reading of the passion and death of our Savior. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem ended on Calvary, but we know that Good Friday led to Easter Sunday.

The biblical reading and prefaces extol the virtue of conversion of life, the need to fulfill our baptismal promises, joyful acceptance of daily trials for the love of God, and unselfish service to all who need our assistance.