Return to the Lord with All Your Heart

The Holy Season of Lent will be observed starting March 6, Ash Wednesday and continues until the Easter Triduum—from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday.

During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer, service and charity, and sacrifice through fasting. For ideas on celebrating Lent as a family, click here.

Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season.

In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.

The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.

Catholics are also encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their spiritual lives during Lent.  The U.S. Bishops’ statement, “God’s Gift of Forgiveness: The Pastoral Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation” can be distributed and shared in parishes.  Dioceses are encouraged to make the sacrament available often during Lent and to use these resources to promote participation.  There are also have resources to help individuals who have not been to confession in a while “rediscover” the sacrament.

Text from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops