The Lenten guidelines below are excerpted from a Feb. 8 letter from Msgr. Joseph P. LaMorte, vicar general and moderator of the curia, to priests and permanent deacons in the archdiocese.
Ash Wednesday is a day that offers a valuable opportunity to set a tone for the entire season of Lent, as well as to reach out to people, some of whom are usually not often found in our churches. Aware of the considerable interest of the faithful in receiving ashes, every effort must be made through the reading of scripture and the offering of prayers to catechize them on the penitential character of Lent and the value of their Lenten practices.
LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE
During the season of Lent, the Church urges the faithful to reflect a spirit of penance in their daily lives through performing acts of fast and abstinence.
DISTRIBUTION OF ASHES should only take place in a church or chapel and during Mass or a Liturgy of the Word. Classrooms and gymnasia ought not be used when a nearby sacred setting is available.
FIRST SUNDAY OF PASSIONTIDE
During the last two weeks of Lent in the dioceses of the United States, the practice of covering crosses and images throughout the church from the Fifth Sunday of Lent (April 3) may be observed. Crosses remain veiled in Lenten violet until the celebration of Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion (April 15), but images remain veiled in Lenten violet until the beginning of the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night (April 16).
TIME OF THE EASTER VIGIL
The season of Lent culminates with the celebration of the Sacred Triduum of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection. The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, celebrated on Holy Saturday evening, is not to be scheduled before dusk (Missale Romanum, Easter Vigil, No. 3, i.e., at least half an hour after sunset). In the Northeast, nightfall in 2022 will occur at 8:05 p.m.
Other things to note:
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