Cathedral prepares for the first day of Lent

Ash Wednesday service will take place on March 2 at 9:50


Nya Huff

Senior Will Mayer assists at the altar at a Mass earlier during this school year. Mayer will be an altar server at the Ash Wednesday Mass on March 2.

Daniel Kent, Reporter

Every year as the seasons begin to change, the Church shifts from ordinary time to the season of Lent. This 40 -day and 40-night period serves as a time of reflection for Catholics in preparation for Easter, the holiest day of the year. This year, Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday on March 2 and end on April 14 as the Triduum begins.

“(Lent) is a reflection of what Christ suffered during the 40 days in the desert. It’s a time for longing for the Resurrection (and) it’s a time for preparation,” said religion teacher Br. Roberto Jimenez.

Although Lent ends with the glorious Resurrection on Easter, Br. Jimenez said, “It is a time of solemn hopefulness, and people have to work through it. Lent is a reflective time, and without Lent, there’s no Resurrection.” 

Senior Will Mayer shares this sentiment. Mayer seeks to grow closer to Christ by fasting and praying as Jesus did in the desert. Almsgiving is also a focus of his during Lent. He said, “Almsgiving is supporting the poor and needy, but also lifting people up if they need it.” 

Lent is a reflective time, and without Lent, there’s no Resurrection.”

— Br. Roberto Jimenez

Throughout Lent and the Triduum, the Church celebrates many important holidays. From Ash Wednesday, to Palm Sunday, to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, many celebrate the traditions of the Church. 

For Ash Wednesday, Br. Jimenez noted that this year will see a return to some normalcy. “We will distribute the ashes on the forehead instead of the hair,” Br. Jimenez said. 

Mayer is a part of the Liturgy Committee, and he helps the priest throughout the Mass. He is happy that the ashes will return to being put on the forehead in the traditional cross shape. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are from the burnt palms used on Palm Sunday in the previous year.

Palm Sunday remembers Jesus’s triumphant arrival into Jerusalem as the people gave him palms. Br. Jimenez said, “(Holy Thursday) is the most beautiful (day of the Triduum) because it’s a day of service. Christ washed the disciples’ feet, (and) it just shows how humble he was.” Br. Jimenez noted that Holy Thursday is followed by Good Friday which he said is “one of the sadder days of the Catholic Church.” Finally, the Triduum ends with the celebration of the Resurrection during the Easter Vigil. 

In addition to having an Ash Wednesday Mass, Br. Jimenez said that stations of the cross will also be available on Fridays during Lent. Mayer said that the school will also celebrate a St. Patrick’s Day Mass, and Archbishop Charles Thompson will lead the school in Mass. 

Lent is a time of preparation to grow closer to Christ, and many do this by reflecting on their lives. Br. Jimenez said, “Just look at yourselves and say, ‘Have I done wrong, and how can I improve?’” Br. Jimenez continued, “Salvation is individual, and that’s why we look at ourselves as one with God.” One way anyone can improve themself is through the sacrament of reconciliation. The Sacrament absolves one of their sins, and it prepares them for the Resurrection on Easter. The school will offer the Sacrament during Lent; Br. Jimenez said, “There will be (priests) in the (Shiel Student Life Center) with different stations that people can go to.” Students will be able to choose to receive the Sacrament during their religion classes. 

Another way to prepare for Easter and grow closer to Christ is through fasting. Br. Jimenez emphasized that anyone who fasts should “have a purpose as to why you fast. He continued, “When fasting has a purpose, then, it makes your spirit come alive, and it really helps you reflect on your life.”

According to Church guidelines, those ages 14 to 59 should abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent. Anyone who is 18 to 59 should fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This means eating one meal along with two smaller meals that would add up to one. Any way that someone chooses to reflect on their life during Lent that improves them is appropriate in preparing for Easter.

As for Mayer he said, “I hope Lent gives people hope and allows them to look at themselves in a deeper way than usual. I hope that the entire school can participate more in prayer, fasting (and) almsgiving — whatever that may be for them.”