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February 26


Elementary:

In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit – welcome to Lent!

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day we begin to reflect more deeply on the greatest love story ever: God's love for us!

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent (springtime).  Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday known as the Easter Triduum. 

Let us pray:

Jesus help us to pray so that we can make your love a part of our every day.

Lord help us to give up or fast from things like selfish attitudes that block our love for You, others and ourselves.

Jesus help us to do works of love and caring for others as we work to rebuild our friendship with You, others and ourselves.

Today we mark our foreheads with ashes as sign that we are ready to move from being selfish and lifeless like ashes to being full of love and life like Jesus.

[Optional to include: Today we wear pink as a sign that together we stand against bullying and we stand for friendship and acceptance.]

Let us pray:

Loving God,May this season bring us the blessings of Your forgiveness and the gift of your love for new life.

May this season bring us the blessings of Your forgiveness and the gift of your love for new life.  We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Humbly we begin our Lenten journey in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


High School: 

In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit – welcome to Lent!

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day we begin to reflect more deeply on the greatest love story ever.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday known as the Easter Triduum. 

Lent is a time when we think again about who we are, who God calls us to be and wonder at the power of love to heal even death itself.  We do this through prayer, to remind us of our relationship with God, others and ourselves.  We do this through fasting where we push aside things that block us from being present to God, one another and ourselves. We do this through almsgiving (works of charity) where we step out of ourselves to rebuild our relationship with God, others and ourselves.

Catholics and people from other Christian traditions mark their forehead with ashes, traditionally in the shape of a cross. The ashes symbolize death and sorrow for sin as well as a desire for new life. The ashes, made by burning last year's Palm Sunday palms, remind us that we are all broken people and we need God in our lives.

Let us pray:

Loving God,

As we begin the season of Lent keep us strong on our journey of fasting, alms giving and prayer. Help us to renew our commitment towards living with our hearts full of Jesus Christ. May this season bring us the blessings of Your forgiveness and the gift of your love for new life.  We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

In many places today is also Pink Shirt Day through which we express our social justice hearts as we rally against bullying by wearing a pink shirt and changing our actions. This "pink" expression of our solidarity against the injustice of bullying is just as important as the ashes on our foreheads expressing our solidarity in our need for Jesus in our lives to make a difference in the world.

Humbly we begin our Lenten journey in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.