Lent
Spend some time in prayer each day during Lent. Visit our Facebook page for a daily reflection.

LENT FAQ

When Does Lent Start in 2018?
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, February 14, and ends with the start of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Good Thursday, which is the beginning of the Triduum. Easter Sunday is April 1.

Why forty days and not some other number?
Because 40 is a special number in the Bible. It signifies preparation for something special - as in the 40 day flood of Noah.

*Moses stayed on the Mount Sinai forty days (Exodus 24:18),
Jonah gives the people of Ninevah forty days to repent (Jonah 3:4)
*Jesus, before starting his ministry, spent 40 days in the desert in prayer and fasting (Matthew 4:2).

So, as in the Bible, we spend 40 days in preparing ourselves to rejoice at the Resurrection of our Lord at Easter.

What is Ash Wednesday all about?
Ash Wednesday is so named because this first day of Lent is where we are marked with ashes to show the repentance of our sins and mourning. This is also a Biblical sign that we live today. We can see this in several verses.

"I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes" (Daniel 9:3)
Other verses include: 1 Samuel 4:12, Jon 3:6, Esther 4:1 and Matthew 11:20-21

Today, ashes are still this same sign of repentance and mourning for our sins. They also represent our mortality. "I am nothing but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27). Reminding ourselves that nobody escapes physical death, we look forward to eternal life.

Where do we get the ashes?
They come from burning the palms from last year's Palm Sunday Masses.

Who can receive ashes?
Anyone can receive ashes on Ash Wed. While we have communion only for Catholics who are in good standing with the Church, all may receive ashes.

Is Ash Wed a holy day of obligation?
No, but all Catholics are strongly urged to attend, because it is the start of the Lenten season.

Why fast?
Again, this is because we are called to by Jesus. By denying ourselves something good, we remember what the highest good of all is - GOD. We also practice self-discipline and self-mastery, which we need in order to achieve holiness. Jesus fasted in the desert and calls us to as well.

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting." (Matthew 6: 16)
"and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." (Luke 2:37)
Fasting also helps focus us in our prayer. "Yet when they were ill, I...humbled myself with fasting.” (Psalm 35:13)

Why abstain from meat?
Because of the spiritual discipline it provides. "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia . . . 'I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.'" (Daniel 10:1-3) We give up meat, which still today is a luxury in some parts of the world, as a good thing that we offer up in order to remember that Christ is better than food and needed more by all of us than anything else.

Why is fish not considered meat?
Because it was the food of the poor who could not afford meat, yet could catch fish to sustain themselves.

So, what are the days of fast and abstinence?
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from meat, this is because Christ died on a Friday.

So, why do people "give up" things during Lent?
While we are not required to “give something up,” we are required to do something penitential. Lent is a great time to break a bad habit and give it to the Lord. These sins and vices we should not take back after Lent. It is also a time to give something up that is good during this season. This is why people give up something they enjoy. In doing so we can draw closer to God by our temporary sacrifice. We should find an appropriate balance of giving something up and not completely cutting ourselves off of good things.

Are Sundays a part of Lent?
Sundays are always a day of celebration of Christ's passion and Resurrection, so we celebrate on these days. While still part of the season of Lent, they have a mixture of both celebration (because it is Sunday) and repentance (because it is Lent).

Does this mean I can "cheat" on Sundays?
Since Sundays are not part of the penitential season, you are not required to practice signs of penitence on these days. But, there is no reason you can't do them either. If you feel you are "cheating" then it isn't helping! Since the Church has some conflicting information (different documents state different things), you should do what you feel is best regarding the Lenten season and Sundays. In other words, follow your conscience.

What else then IS required during Lent?
The Church asks us to increase our prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is assumed that we are already doing these things and should merely increase them.

Thanks to marysaggies.blogspot.com for the above information.

Lent is the season of the Church in which we model Christ's Tempation in the Desert before he began his public ministry. The season begins on Ash Wednesday, when our foreheads are marked with ashes as a reminder that we are created from dust and to dust we shall return. Lent is a time of stripping down to essentials, as we each focus on our relationship with God. During Lent, we are asked to increase our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the Paschal Triduum and Easter. It is a time when we remember our baptisms, when Jesus washed away our sins, giving us newness of life. We reflect on what Jesus has done for us - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and finally, his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Prayer

Scripture

There are several ways to increase your prayer life during Lent. The first and easiest way is to pick up the Bible, and read and reflect on the word of God. To assist you, daily readings can be found at www.usccb.org.

Mass

CCM offers several opportunities for Mass each week. Sunday Masses are offered at 10am in the Numen Lumen Pavilion and 5pm in the Elon Community Church. Our Wednesday Night Catholic program in Holt Chapel offers Mass at 7:30PM, followed by either Adoration or Praise & Worship. On Fridays, daily Mass is offered at 12:10PM in the Numen Lumen Pavilion.

Our Ash Wednesday schedule is as follows:

Ash Wednesday - February 14:
12:15PM - Ecumenical service with distribution of ashes - Elon Community Church
3:30PM - Scripture service with distribution of ashes - Numen Lumen Pavilion
9:00PM - Mass with distribution of ashes - Elon Community Church

Our Holy Week schedule is as follows:

Holy Thursday - March 29:
7:30PM - Mass with washing of the feet - Holt Chapel

Good Friday - March 30:
12:00PM - Stations of the Cross - Fonville Fountain in Scott Plaza (in front of Alamance building)

Easter Sunday - April 8:
11:00AM - Mass - McKinnon Hall (Moseley Center)

Adoration

Mother Theresa called time in Adoration of the Eucharist "the best time you will spend on earth." The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is found in Holt Chapel (on South Campus) and is available for personal adoration 24/7. If you need access to the building, please contact . Adoration is also held every other week as part of our Wednesday Night Catholic program.

Reconciliation

Going to confession during Lent is a great chance to invite God into your life. Haven't been in a while? No amount of time has been too long for God! Fr. Peter offers opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before and after Sunday Masses. If those times don't work for you, contact to set up another time!

Stations

The Stations of the Cross is a popular devotion which allows us, through prayer and reflection, to follow Jesus Christ on his way to Calvary. The Stations holds a special significance among us Catholics. It is one of the most important devotions honoring the passion of Jesus. CCM holds a special Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, around Fonville Fountain in Scott Plaza (in front of Alamance building) at 12:00pm. Please join us for this special event with both faculty and students. If you are unable to join us, our website has a "virtual" Stations that you can proceed at your own pace.


Fasting

Fasting is one of the most ancient actions linked to Lent. The goal of fasting is linked with prayer. The pangs of hunger remind us of our hunger for God, allowing us to open our hearts to God. Prayer and fasting together brings us to what Lent is about - a deeper conversion.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence.

Fasting is to be observed by all 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one's needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.

Abstinence is observed by all 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence no meat is allowed. Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, Church law does not oblige. When in doubt concerning fast and abstinence, the Campus Minister should be consulted.

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance as they look forward to the renewal of Baptism Promises at Easter.

Almsgiving

Almsgiving, far from being just an act of giving, "is an attitude of the heart," says Monsignor Forte, a theologian, "a heart that is humble, repentant, merciful, compassionate, which seeks to reproduce in its relations with others the experience of mercy that each one of us lives in our relation with God."

Operation Rice Bowl

Operation Rice BowlCCM is participating in Rice Bowl again this year for Lent! This is a program of Catholic Relief Services to help people around the world with issues of poverty, hunger, health, and disaster relief. If you gave up something like coffee or chocolate, you could put the money that you would have spent in your Rice Bowl as a donation instead! 75% of funds go toward Catholic Relief Services to assist over 100 countries around the world, and 25% of funds go to help fight hunger and poverty here in North Carolina. Inside your rice bowl, you'll find a Lenten calendar with daily reflections and recipes. We will collect all bowls after Easter.

Service

Almsgiving is more than just donating money; it's about sharing your time and talent. CCM also encourages students to set aside time during Lent to assist our less fortunate brothers and sisters. If you are interested in joining CCM on a service project, please contact to get involved.