- “During this Lenten season I invite everyone to look into their heart, see the things which might be closing our heart to God’s love and make a special effort to open ourselves up to the grace that God offers during this Lenten season” – Archbishop Eamon Martin
- Theme of Trócaire’s 2015 Lenten campaign is ‘Fighting drought and hunger caused by climate change’
- Find the Balance DVD with testimonies from young Irish people and alcohol moderation
Archbishop Eamon Martin has launched a special web feature and a new Facebook page for Lent 2015 which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of His public ministry, where He endured temptation.
Archbishop Martin said, “I love the phrase which Pope Francis uses in his Message for Lent this year and where he describes Lent as a time for ‘formation of the heart’. During this Lenten season I invite everyone to look into their heart, see the things which might be closing our heart to God’s love and make a special effort to open ourselves up to the grace that God offers during this Lenten season. I ask that we:
Open our hearts to the love of God,
Open our hearts in charity and love for others,
Let our hearts be formed and shaped this Lent so that they can be more like the heart of Jesus.”
Archbishop Martin concluded, “For many years we have provided online resources to assist with our Lenten preparations which seek to guide us as we prepare spiritually for the joy and hope which comes with the Easter season. During this season of Lent, I invite everyone to visit and avail of the information provided on our website and on Facebook and to join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #lent and #lent2015.”
The website catholicbishops.ie offers Lenten information and resources, which are also available on our new Facebook page:
- Pope Francis’ message for Lent on the theme “Make your hearts firm”(Jas 5:8).
- Lenten tweets from Pope Francis
- Lenten reflections which will be made available throughout Lent with the first one available for Ash Wednesday from Father Michael Drumm, chair of the Catholic Schools Partnership
- Prayers and Pastoral Letters for Lent
- Suggestions on observing Friday Penance during Lent
- Explanations of Lent and Lenten practices
- Events taking place in parishes and dioceses across Ireland during Lent
- Details of Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign for 2015 which focuses on northern Ethiopia and the suffering caused by ongoing drought as a result of climate change.
- Links to Find the Balance: Dare to Dream video profiling testimonies from young Irish people on alcohol moderation
Notes for Editors
- Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Chair of the Communications Council of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Follow Archbishop Martin on Twitter @Archbishop Eamon. The Lent Facebook page can be accessed at the following link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lent/506371582805408
Lent is the most solemn season for the Catholic Church and it culminates in the high-point of our liturgical calendar: Easter Sunday. For the believer Lent is the time of preparation for Easter. Through prayer, penance (including participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession), acts of charity and self-denial we are called to renewal of our Christian life in preparation for Easter:
The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ’s carrying the Cross and of His execution, are often observed. As well as giving something up it is becoming more common to take something up as well and this may include taking time to volunteer, or spending more time in prayer.
Penance is an essential part of the lives of all Christ’s faithful. It arises from the Lord’s call to conversation and repentance. Christians do penance: in memory of the Passion and death of our Lord; as a sharing in Christ’s suffering; as an expression of inner conversion; as a form of reparation for sin. The faithful are asked to renew their practice of Friday Penance by undertaking some of the following:
– abstain from meat or some other food
– make a special effort to participate in Mass on Fridays (in addition to Sunday)
– make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament
– abstain from alcoholic drink or smoking
– make a special effort to spend time together in family prayer
– make the Stations of the Cross
– fast from all food for a longer period than usual and give what is saved to the needy
– help someone who is sick, old or lonely.
Traditionally during Lent many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence, the money saved from this can be donated to charity, for example, contributing to the charity Trócaire box.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444