Lent 2013 begins

On Ash Wednesday 20 March 2013, Lent in Cyprus begins.machairas-photos-3-9

Lent is a special season of grace. Each year the Holy Church provides us with an opportunity to renew our spiritual lives in preparation to celebrate the great Paschal mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.

In the life of the Church, it is the ancient tradition that PRAYER, FASTING AND ALMSGIVIING are the cornerstone of the Christian discipline of Lent. By deepening our life of prayer, voluntarily giving up some of the things we normally enjoy and reaching out to the needy among us, we can best claim the spiritual benefits that come from this great season of renewal – a spiritual springtime.

Our Parish community offers many opportunities for us to pray together. Daily Mass, Benediction with Vespers weekday evenings, Penance Services with individual confessions, the Way of the Cross and the special times for liturgical prayer which are offered during Lent and Holy Week are all opportunities for us to enrich our life of prayer together even while we deepen out personal prayer.

The Church makes some minimal suggestions of what we might give up for Lent so we can focus more on God who is the source of all good things. It is our custom to abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent and to fast (one full meal and all the other food we eat on these days not to exceed what we normally consider a meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. These common practices of all Catholics (with exceptions for those who are very young, very old or infirm) are a good starting point for our Lenten fast. Each of us can consider what else we may “give up” for Lent to deepen our spiritual journey.

Christians must never forget the needy who are among us. We are especially invited during this season to be ever more aware of the needs of all people: physical, spiritual, mental and psychological. And not just aware: our active efforts to assist those in need, within our Parish, in the wider community in which we live, and among the worldwide human family, accrue not just to their benefit but to ours as well.

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MARCH 20, ASH WEDNESDAY: Mass and Distribution of Ashes: 8 AM, 12 Noon and 6:30 PM. For those unable to attend at these times, Ashes will also be distributed after Masses on 1st Sunday of Lent.

WEEKDAYS (MondayThursday, except Ash Wednesday): Benediction with Evening Prayer (Vespers) at 5:30 PM

EVERY FRIDAY: Way of the Cross at 5:30 PM

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