Season of Lent
Lent is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the Lenten liturgy prepares for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian Initiation, and the faithful, who recall their own Baptism and do penance.
Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, 27
- Summary sheet for Liturgy Preparation Groups [pdf]
- General Norms for the Liturgical Year & Calendar 32–38 [pdf]
- Introduction to the Lectionary [pdf]
- Directory on Popular Piety
- Celebrating the Paschal Feasts
97. The gospel readings are arranged as follows:
The first and second Sundays retain the accounts of the Lord's temptations and transfiguration, with readings, however, from all three Synoptics.
On the next three Sundays, the gospels about the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus have been restored in Year A. Because these gospels are of major importance in regard to Christian initiation, they may also be read in Year B and Year C, especially in places where there are catechumens.
Other texts, however, are provided for Year B and Year C: for Year B, a text from John about Christ's coming glorification through his cross and resurrection and for Year C, a text from Luke about conversion.
On Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) the texts for the procession are selections from the Synoptic Gospels concerning the Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. For the Mass the reading is the account of the Lord's passion.
The Old Testament readings are about the history of salvation, which is one of the themes proper to the catechesis of Lent. The series of texts for each Year presents the main elements of salvation history from its beginning until the promise of the New Covenant.
The readings from the letters of the apostles have been selected to fit the gospel and the Old Testament readings and, to the extent possible, to provide a connection between them.
98. The readings from the gospels and the Old Testament were selected because they are related to each other. They treat various themes of the Lenten catechesis that are suited to the spiritual significance of this season. Beginning with Monday of the fourth week of Lent, there is a semi continuous reading of the Gospel of John, made up of texts that correspond more closely to the themes proper to Lent.
Because the readings about the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus are now assigned to Sundays, but only for Year A (in Year B and Year C they are optional), provision has been made for their use on weekdays. Thus at the beginning of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Weeks of Lent optional Masses with these texts for the gospel have been inserted and may be used in place of the readings of the day on any weekday of the respective week.
In the first half of Holy Week the readings are about the mystery of Christ's passion. For the chrism Mass the readings bring out both Christ's messianic mission and its continuation in the Church by means of the sacraments.
- Earliest date for Ash Wednesday - 5 February
- Latest date for Ash Wednesday - 10 March
- Earliest date for Easter - 22 March
- Latest date for Easter - 25 April
Sundays and Weekdays of Lent
- Sundays of Lent
- Weekdays of Lent
Solemnities that may fall in Lent.
Feasts that may fall in Lent
- St Cyril and St Methodius (14 February) - Feast in Europe
- The Chair of St Peter (22 February)
- St David (1 March) - Feast in England
- St Patrick (17 March) - Feast in England
354. On Sundays, on the weekdays during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, on Feasts, and on obligatory Memorials:
a. If Mass is celebrated with a congregation, the priest should follow the Calendar of the Church where he is celebrating;
b. If Mass is celebrated with the participation of one minister only, the priest may choose either the Calendar of the Church or a proper Calendar.
355. On optional Memorials,
a. On the weekdays of Advent from December 17 to December 24, on days within the Octave of Christmas, and on the weekdays of Lent, except Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week, the Mass texts for the current liturgical day are used; but the Collect may be taken from a Memorial which happens to be listed in the General Calendar for that day, except on Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week. On weekdays of the season of Easter, Memorials of Saints may rightly be celebrated using all the texts for the Memorial.
|Sundays in the season of Lent
|Solemnities not of precept (St Joseph, Annunciation)
|Ash Wednesday, weekdays of Holy Week
|Weekdays in the season of Lent
V1 = Ritual Masses (General Instruction of the Roman Missal [hereafter, GIRM], no. 372).
Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission (GIRM, no. 374).
V2 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the discretion of the rector of the church or the priest celebrant (GIRM, no. 376).
V3 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses chosen by the priest celebrant in favour of the devotion of the people (GIRM, no. 373, 375).
D1 = Funeral Mass (GIRM, no. 380).
D2 = Mass on the occasion of news of a death, final burial, or the first anniversary (GIRM, no. 381).
D3 = Daily Mass for the dead (GIRM, no. 381). When D1 and D2 are not permitted, neither is D3.
Cycle of Prayer
- Candidates for the Sacraments
- especially on the Sundays of Lent
- The Needy and Hungry of the World
- especially on Lent Fast Day (Friday after 1st Sunday of Lent)
- Women's World Day of Prayer
- (1st Friday in March)
- Penitents and Wanderers