Lenten Liturgies and Devotions
Lent is the Church’s primary penitential season of the liturgical year. It begins with Ash Wednesday and lasts until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The season has six Sundays with the final Sunday, known as Passion or Palm Sunday, beginning Holy Week. It dates back to at least the 4th century and reflects the 40 days Jesus spent praying and fasting in the desert (see Matthew 4:1-11) and is a time of preparation for the great feast of Easter. During Lent it is customary to find some way to offer more time to the Lord and to seek to do penance. There are a number of ways to enhance our penitential experience.
Daily Mass: San Clemente offers daily Mass Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7:00 am and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm. During Lent there is also Mass on Friday evenings at 6:00 pm. Attending daily Mass during Lent is a tradition enjoyed by many Catholics. It is often sacrificial in nature as it means starting our day earlier or putting dinner off until later. It is not unusual for those who make the sacrifice to attend Mass daily during Lent to continue to do so afterwards.
Confession: Since the nature of the Lenten season is penitential, it is important and vital to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once during Lent. The Church requires that we confess our sins at least once a year and any time we find ourselves in serious sin. As with all sacraments, we receive graces as well as the pardon of God. At San Clemente, Father is available to hear confessions ½ hour before daily Mass and on Saturdays as well as during Stations of the Cross on Fridays. Watch the bulletin for Saturday confession times and other times during Lent when the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available.
Stations of the Cross: Stations of the Cross is a form of devotion commemorating the Passion and death of Jesus. San Clemente, as well as most all Catholic parishes, offers the Stations every Friday during Lent. These stations are a series of meditations that are also called the Way of the Cross. Holy Land pilgrims visit the actual scenes in the Passion of Christ (Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa), actually walking where Jesus walked. The practice of placing the Stations in our churches and reciting them began as early as the 5th century and was promoted widely by the Franciscans in the 14th century. In 1731, the general features of the devotion were fixed by Pope Clement XII. Fridays are often a time when families get together for dinner or movies or to play games. Fridays during Lent is a time for families to come together and walk the Way of the Cross.
Adoration: The Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel at San Clemente is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is a quiet place for all to go to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. During Lent, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed daily from Noon to 1:00 pm in the church. What a blessed and sacrificial way to spend our lunch time.
Adoration: will also take place every Friday after morning Mass until Benediction at 5:45 pm also in the church. This affords us the opportunity to spend more time with Our Lord. Signing up for a time to sit with the Blessed Sacrament assures that Our Lord is never left alone and shows our dedication. Jesus asked his Apostles the night before his Crucifixion to spend one hour in prayer with him…the first Holy Hour? TO SIGN UP FOR AN HOUR ON FRIDAYS DURING LENT CALL THE PARISH OFFICE 505 865 7385.
Lenten Mission: It is customary for parishes to have a Lenten Mission. Attending one or more of the mission nights, March 19, 20, and 21, is a way of bringing families together, enhancing our lives as Catholics, and adding to our Lenten experience. Details of the Lenten Mission are in the bulletin.
Triduum: The Triduum begins with Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, continues with Good Friday services, the Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and ends with Evening Prayer (Vespers) on Sunday. It is a three-day-long liturgical service. The word literally means “three days.” These days are the holy and pivotal days of our redemption. To celebrate the Triduum is to embrace the truth of our salvation. The Paschal celebration of the table, the cross, and the tomb is the glorious fulfillment of Jesus’ teachings. During this time we recall the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus along with his institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. In attending all Triduum liturgies, we complete our Lenten penance and together rejoice in the saving power of Jesus.