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Resources for the season of Lent

any later information in our Newsletters

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click for Lent & Holy Week liturgies & parish activities leaflet 2024 - any later information in our Newsletters

Welcome happy fast of Lent. Lent is time. Forty days of time for God. Time when we can look at our lives and see how we can return to a right relationship with Him. Time is given to all of us. How we use it, is the question. Listening and reflecting on the Word of God is a sure way of growing in his grace ...  I hope you will all take as full a part as possible in the Lenten programme so that we can all be renewed in the Easter Mystery. - Canon Philip

Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2024

Ecumenical Lenten Frugal Lunches 2024 with Churches Together in Penzance Area Proceeds to CAFOD and Christian Aid. ~ Lent Lunches 2024 Poster
Dates and Venues: held from 12 noon to 1.15pm.
Saturday 17th February at YMCA + Quakers, Alverton Road, TR8 4TE
Saturday 24th February at St Pol de Leon Church, Paul.
Saturday 2nd March at High Street Methodist, TR18 2SU
Saturday 9th March at St Thomas’ Church, Heamoor.
Saturday 16th March at St Peter’s Church, Newlyn.
Saturday 23rd March at Madron Methodist – Madron + Wesley Rock.

CTIPA Churches Together - Good Friday Ecumenical Walk of Witness 2024: 11.30 a.m. from Penzance Bus Station to walk up Market Jew Street – due to building work, it is not possible to hold the usual short midday service outside Lloyds Bank so this will take place at the Salvation Army citadel in Queens Street. All are invited to enjoy hospitality afterwards. Poster

Homilies from Fr. Philip 2024

Reflection: "Lent is like a long 'retreat' during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual 'combat' which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism." ~ Pope Benedict XVI

Collect for 1st Sunday of Lent: Grant, Almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


BELOW is from 2023 page - links are still useful.

Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2023  - <:))))<> - Pastoral Letter for Lent 2023 from Cardinal Nichols

If you missed watching it at a Lent group 2023: The Letter - Laudato Si' Film tells the story about the Pope’s call to care for our planet, website - also Pope Francis' Encyclical letter link: “Laudato Si'.” (Care for our common home)

BELOW is from 2022 page - links still useful.

  • Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2022 invites the faithful to sow seeds of goodness, so that we might reap a harvest of salvation for ourselves and others.

  • Ignatian spirituality for Lent 2021: The Jesuit's online retreat

  • A short meditation for Lent: ‘The Green Cross’ by Canon David Annear

  • Stations of The Cross | Photos of 'Stations of The Cross' in Penzance Catholic Church

  • video Stations of the Cross from Plymouth Cathedral,19th Feb 2021

  • Pope Francis: Lent messages full index

  • video parts 4 & 5 of our 2020 Lent CaFE course, 'Let it Be Done Unto Me According To Your Word'.

  • Bishop Robert Barron's Lent Reflections 2021 - time with Christ in the Gospel - and the Word on Fire community.

  • Caritas Plymouth Lent resources - podcasts, links and ideas for reflection, with a focus on Catholic Social Teaching.

  • Mary's Way of The Cross Meditations + alternative link

  • CAFOD Lent Calendar

  • Best Lent Ever a free email program to guide you on a 40-day journey to become the best version of yourself, making this a truly life-changing Lent.

  • Lent Homilies from our library

  • Music for the Triduum during Covid-19 restrictions on singing, from choir and musicians at our church. updated icon

  • Parousia: The Bible and the Mass. A Lent 2021 journey through scripture, hosted by Scott Hahn to uncover why all God’s action, in creation & redemption, is ordered to the Mass.

  • More LENT external links are below ~ Lent Reflections page

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Are you giving something up for Lent? Please consider donating any savings you make to:

1. The Catholic Children’s Society Plymouth, make a difference to local vulnerable children and families, visit website

2. "Mary's Meals" It costs just £19.15 to feed a child at school for a year!

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Pope Francis: Make room for God, not a love of wealth, to find your place in Heaven. Without making room for God’s word in their heart, people will never be able to welcome and love all human life. The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable. The text of the message is based on the parable of Dives and Lazarus in Luke: 16: 19-31. The parable calls for sincere conversion, and it provides a key to understanding what we need to do in order to attain true happiness and eternal life.


‘But now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning. Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn, turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, and ready to relent.' (from 1st reading of Ash Wednesday - in full see Joel 2:12 - 18)


“Take heed that you do not make fasting to consist only in abstinence from meats. True fasting is to refrain from vice. Shred to pieces all your unjust contracts. Pardon your neighbours. Forgive them their trespasses.” Do you hunger to know God more, to grow in his holiness, and to live the abundant life of grace he offers you? ~ Basil the Great - Fasting on Wikipedia & on Catholic online

"Lord Jesus, our Saviour, let us now come to you: Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood. Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with your joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence. Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself." ~ St. Augustine


Comment from a 2007 Lenten Zenit e-mail: "Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, and Tradition invite us to live Lent with a spirit of interior conversion, made concrete in three things: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1434 says: "Express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others." No. 1438 of the Catechism goes on to say: "The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works)." Vatican archive link

From an Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, meaning, "spring," the time of the lengthening of the days. Lent is one of the seasons of the church year and is the forty-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter). The period is actually 46 days, but since Sundays are feast days and to be celebrated, they are not included in the count. Lent is intended to be a period of preparation and penitence marked by fasting and meditation. Lent is widely associated with denial -- "giving something up for Lent." and it can also be seen as a time of "doing something" and also coming closer to God. Lent is definitely a time for self-examination and a time to grow spiritually through prayer.
The Liturgical colour used in the season of Lent is Purple which signifies penitence and preparation. The origins of the custom of covering the statues in purple for the last two weeks of the season go back to the 9th century and help remind us that this is a special time of the year, and at the same time to focus our attention through the events of Holy Week on to Christ’s work of Redemption.
Ash Wednesday (Day of Ashes)
The Wednesday marking the beginning of the season of Lent, usually observed with a period of fasting and spiritual preparation. A day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics.  In the Ash Wednesday liturgy, the priest makes a sign of the cross with ashes on a person's forehead as a mark of their mortality saying "Remember (man) that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." or "Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel" ["good-news"] ) The ashes are burned palms saved from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebration.
Palm Sunday
The Sunday before Easter, where Jesus' final and triumphal entry into Jerusalem is observed. The Gospel of passion of Our Lord is read. Real palm branches or crosses made from palms (or both) are blessed and distributed to the congregation usually after a short procession. I Palm Sunday palms are saved and later burned to make the ashes for the next year's Ash Wednesday service.

Holy Week

The week preceding Easter -- the last week in Lent. Holy Week is the most important period of the church year, observed with many special services, beginning with Palm Sunday and concluding on Holy Saturday. Holy Week includes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday
Thursday in Holy Week; the name is from a corruption of the Old English word for "commandment" in Christ's commandment given in John 13:34: "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another." The word "command" was originally spelled "commaundment" and was shortened to "Maundy" through careless enunciation. The command is closely tied to another "commaund" given by Jesus at the same time:"Do this in remembrance of me." Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) was the day on which the first Lord's Supper, the Last Supper, was celebrated with the 12 Disciples. Maundy Thursday services often include "stripping the altar" (removing all items including hangings) and in some parishes, foot washing (see John 13:5).

Good Friday

The day in Holy Week in which we remember Christ's arrest, passion, crucifixion, and death on a cross. It is unclear where the name "Good Friday" originated. Some have said it is a corruption of "God's Friday," Others say it is called "Good" because of the great benefits given to humanity by Christ's death and resurrection.
He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:5
Holy Saturday
Lighting the "First Fire"
Paschal Candle
From the Hebrew word Pesach, meaning Passover. A large candle on a tall holder, placed in a prominent position on the left side of the sanctuary. The candle is lit from the first fire kindled at the Holy Saturday Mass and then throughout the Easter season, also during baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

The festival that commemorates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the third day after he was crucified. It is called Easter Day but has come to be called Easter Sunday by the media, most laity, and some clergy, all of whom ought to know better! Easter is a movable feast, which means it does not always fall on the same day each year. Easter is always the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox (first day of Spring). By this calculation, Easter could occur anytime from March 22, to April 25. The length of Epiphany and the Season after Pentecost, as well as the dates of Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Ascension Day, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday are all determined by the date of Easter. Easter is also a Church season, spanning the 50 days (six Sundays) after Easter, to Ascension Day.

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"Peace is the gift of Christ, which he obtained for us with the sacrifice of the Cross. To achieve it effectively it is necessary to climb with the divine Teacher up to Calvary. And who can guide us better in this ascent than Mary who, as she stood at the foot of the Cross, was given to us as our mother through the faithful apostle, St John." ~ Pope John Paul II (Palm Sunday, 2003)

"Through a tree we were made debtors to God; so through a tree we have our debt cancelled." ~ Irenaeus

n.b. Divine Mercy Novena commences on Good Friday

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Question: When Is Lent? ~ Lent is the season of penance and prayer before Easter. Answer: Lent starts every year on Ash Wednesday which always falls 46 days before Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday falls on February 10th 2016, and Holy Saturday falls on March 26th, 2016. While Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and prayer, there are 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (inclusive). For an explanation see How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated? |

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