Fasting – All Saints’

We are in the 2nd week of Lent in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar

The Liturgical colour is Purple and the Word of the Week is…

Fasting!

This week, we focus on another of the three pillars of Lent: fasting.  Fasting is a way of showing self-discipline and of focusing on our relationship with God. Fasting can also be a way of expressing solidarity with those who are less fortunate. Fasting is an important part of Lent, as it allows us to follow the example of Jesus in the wilderness, and to grow in our compassion for others.  We’re all encouraged to fast from the unnecessary things in our lives and use the time to feast on doing something for the good of others.  Is there something you can go without, in favour of doing something selfless, for example less time on a device and more face-to-face time helping or just spending time with a family member?    What can you ‘fast from’ and ‘feast on’ this week and throughout Lent?

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Fasting means restricting consumption or depriving yourself of both good and bad things, for the glory of God.  This means thinking about what you really need, rather than giving into desires for luxury items or things that are not necessary in life.
From Ash Wednesday, when Christians begin with a day of fasting, we are encouraged to think of things we can go without, to make small sacrifices that mirror elements of the fasting that Jesus did during his forty days in the wilderness.
Fasting can take many forms.  It is not just food items that we can choose to restrict or give up.  We can also sacrifice our time, in order to support or help others; choosing selfless behaviours rather than selfish ones.

The prophet Isaiah said that true fasting is to: “Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse.  Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice and let the oppressed go free. 
(Isaiah 58:7-11) 

Let’s learn more about the reasons why we fast, from Fr Mike:

Think about the things that you can fast from and the things you can feast on that support the needs of others when you choose selflessness.

Let us pray:

Fast from taking.  Feast on giving.

Fast from wasting.  Feast on preserving God’s creation.

Fast from selfishness and solitude.  Feast on family.

Fast from overindulgence.  Feast on sufficiency.

Fast from anger and contempt.  Feast on preserving human dignity.

Fast from silence.  Feast on standing up for what is right.

Fast from reluctance.  Feast on participation and solidarity.

Fast from laziness and inaction.  Feast on action.

Together, let us be the change, Lord.

Amen.

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Quiz time!

How much do you really know about the Liturgical season of Lent?

1  – What is the Liturgical colour for the season of Lent? Can you give an example of where we will see this Liturgical colour used in our schools and churches?

 

2 – On the 4th Sunday of Lent a different Liturgical colour is used, can you name which colour?

 

3 – What do we call the day before Lent begins?

 

4 – What words are said when you receive the ashes on Ash Wednesday?

 

5 – How long is the season of Lent?

 

6 – What are the three pillars of Lent?

 

7 – Which Liturgical word do we NOT say or sing during Lent? 

 

8 – How many stations of the cross are there?

 

9 – Which of our feeder schools’ patron saints’ feast days do we celebrate during Lent?

 

10 – When does Lent officially end? 

 

See answers here!

1  – What is the Liturgical colour for the season of Lent? Can you give an example of where we will see this Liturgical colour used in our schools and churches?

A) The colour purple/violet is used in Lent.

It represents penance, preparation, and royalty because Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the king of all kings.

We might see the colour purple used on the priest’s vestments, on the cloth (veil) covering the tabernacle in our chapel and Churches, on our display boards, in the chapel, in the school entrance prayer table, on our desktop backgrounds and in lots of other places.

 

2 – On the 4th Sunday of Lent a different Liturgical colour is used, can you name which colour?

A) On the 4th Sunday of Lent we celebrate Laetare Sunday – the liturgical colour is rose (pink) and some of the austerity of Lent is lifted to help encourage us on our Lenten journey towards the joy of the resurrection.

We use the colour pink on two days of the Liturgical year, in Joy week in the third week of Advent and Laetare Sunday in Lent – both occasions symbolise that we are over half way through our periods of preparation.

 

3 – What do we call the day before Lent begins?

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras (French for ‘Fat Tuesday’).

Shrove is the past tense of the now obscure verb shrive. Shrive means “to impose penance on (a sinner)” or “to grant absolution to (a penitent).” It also means “to hear the confession” of a person if you’re a priest, and to “confess one’s sins” if you’re someone going to the priest.

In the Middle Ages, especially in Northern Europe and England, it became the custom to confess one’s sins on the day before Lent began, in order to enter the penitential season in the right spirit.

In previous centuries, the fast during Lent was quite severe. Christians abstained from all meat and items that came from animals, including butter, eggs, cheese, and fat. Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

 

4 – What words are said when you receive the ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Season of Lent.
Ashes are placed on the forehead of all those who wish to show that they are beginning upon
their preparations during Lent.

During Ash Wednesday the congregation is offered the opportunity to be marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a sign of penitence and mortality whilst one of the following phrases is used:
Remember, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return
Or,
Repent, and believe in the Gospel

The ashes are made by burning blessed palm crosses or olive branches from the previous Palm
Sunday.

 

5 – How long is the season of Lent?

Lent is the season of preparation before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Maundy Thursday when the Church enters into the three sacred days (the ‘Triduum’) of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.  The resurrection marks the start of Eastertide.

Lent lasts for 40 days and reminds us of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness/desert, where he was tempted by the devil before beginning his mission.

Lent actually lasts for 46 days, if you include the Sundays, and some Catholics do not carry out their fasting on a Sunday as every Sunday is a feast day.

 

6 – What are the three pillars of Lent?

Prayer

Fasting

Almsgiving (Charity)

 

7 – Which Liturgical word do we NOT say or sing during Lent? 

During Lent we do not use the word, ‘Alleluia’. This word comes from the Hebrew ‘Praise be the Lord’. As praise and celebration are associated with the joy of Easter, rather than the serious time of preparation during Lent, we deliberately refrain from using the word, ‘Alleluia’. In contrast, at the Easter Vigil and throughout Eastertide, we can’t stop saying it!

The Gloria is also omitted because these are joyful acclamations and are more appropriate at Easter and throughout the year. Flowers are also not seen in the church during Lent and, during Holy Week, the statues and artefacts are covered with purple cloth and the church is sparse and bare until Easter, when churches come alive with floral bouquets, bells, sons and praise.

 

8 – How many stations of the cross are there?

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross or Via Crucis, commemorate Jesus’s passion and death on the cross. There are 14 stations.  Each station depicts a moment on his journey to Calvary, usually through sacred art, prayers, and reflections.

Some stations may have 15 plaques or reflections, if they include the resurrection.

 

9 – Which of our feeder schools’ patron saints’ feast days do we celebrate during Lent?

Tuesday 17th March: Saint Patrick, Bishop, Patron of Ireland (Feast)

 

10 – When does Lent officially end?

 

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week and Lent ends on Maundy Thursday, when the Church enters into the three days (Sacred ‘Triduum’) of Jesus’ passion, death and, finally, resurrection; which marks the start of Eastertide.

During Holy Week, we commemorate the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection, including:

Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), the Last Supper, with the command to wash the disciples’ feet and Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist (Maundy Thursday), Jesus’s crucifixion and death (Good Friday), the stillness of Jesus’ dead body lying in the tomb (Holy Saturday) the glorious resurrection of Jesus, celebrated on Easter Sunday; starting with the fire and candlelight of the Easter Vigil.

 

What was the top score in your form groups? Did you learn anything new?

Let us know in the comments below!

 

Let us pray together…

Heavenly Father,

Help us to see the value of Lent in our lives.

Inspire us to think of something that we can do that will bring us closer to others and closer to you, as we journey through Lent.

Guide us to make a positive difference this Lent, through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Help us to fast from things that are unimportant or unnecessary and to feast on sharing love in every way we can, in your name.

Amen.

 

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today, we are going to reflect on a piece of Scripture used in Lent.

First, read the line from Matthew’s Gospel.

Then reflect, thinking about any words or phrases that speak to you from it.

Then read it again.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.  Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 4:4

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The Gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Now discuss the Gospel then answer the questions below.

What does he mean? How can we be inspired by these words? Make a list of things that God provides, that ‘feed’ us.  These might be people, things, creation, scripture… Which things in life, that we could practice fasting from, distance us from God, rather than ‘feeding us’? E.g. screen time, devices, social media, gossiping…  How can we encourage ourselves and others to be ‘fed’ by God’s Word, rather than driven away from it by the distractions of life in today’s world?

Let us pray:

Lord,

Help us to refrain from indulging in things in life that bring temporary happiness or joy.

Help us to focus on what truly matters in life and to never lose sight of the value and beauty of family, friends, education, heath, creation, prayer and self-belief.

Fill us with your peace and give us strength to spend time each day without technology, so that we may enjoy the beauty of life, people and the world around us.

Feed us with your word, so that we may be filled with your grace and blessing to love and serve others.

Amen

 

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Choose someone in your form to lead your prayer this morning. They should read anything in bold, and everyone else should join in on the other parts.

We begin our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Listen to the Brothers sharing some of their insights on fasting: 

Spend a few moments, as the music plays, reflecting on this mission.

Think:

When can I make time each day to welcome God’s presence?

How will I truly listen to God?

 

We end our prayer with the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

Be Inspirational