Welcome to the Season of Lent. During this 40 day period, we commemorate Our Lord’s Fast and Temptation in the Wilderness, and prepare ourselves for Easter by special devotions and discipline. The three-fold equation of Prayer, Fasting, and Penance are the order of the day and should be followed to the letter.
During Lent, meat is forbidden on Wednesdays and Fridays, but each day of Lent is a fast and should be treated as such.
Traditionally, the faithful give up some special treat or vice in the hopes of strengthening their spiritual resolve. This may consist of something as minor as sweets, alcohol/tobacco, internet, television, etc. The “worldly” things we enjoy most, are small sacrifices we can offer physically.
Lent is also a time to build on our spiritual lives through prayer, fasting, and penance. Additionally, one should make use of those opportunities offered by the parish such as Daily Mass, Stations of the Cross, and weekly Bible studies.
The ultimate goal is to arrive at Holy Week stronger and more spiritually sound than you were on Ash Wednesday
You will also notice that the environment assumes a more austere appearance: Purple/violet Vestments, No Flowers, Absence of the “Gloria” during Mass, and music less festive than usual. The Church also forbids certain Sacraments during Lent including weddings.