We know that Lent is a season of preparation; a time to pray, fast, and give alms in order to ready our hearts for Easter. However, you might be wondering—why is Lent forty days?
Perhaps the most commonly known Lenten practice for Catholics is abstinence from meat on Fridays. Though Catholics all over the world follow this practice faithfully, some are unsure about the reasoning behind it. There are two main questions to answer:
During Holy Week, bishops from dioceses around the world celebrate the Chrism Mass. Though the Chrism Mass is usually on the morning of Holy Thursday, it can fall on another day of the week if need be. During the Mass, three types of oil are blessed for each church in the diocese to use throughout the coming year. In addition to the blessing of the oils, all the priests and bishops of the diocese publicly renew their priestly promises at the Chrism Mass.
The sacrament of Reconciliation, also commonly known as confession, is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Just like all the other sacraments, Reconciliation is an outward sign instituted by Christ that effects grace in the soul of the recipient. In this beautiful sacrament of healing, we are cleansed of the sins that have ruptured our communion with God, and we receive grace and healing to help us continue living virtuous, Christ-centered lives.