In this new season of Lent there are two ideas to consider: the repentant and renewing nature of this season; and our Baptismal promises. (Obviously these are related!) Lent is the opportunity to be focused and attentive in striving for holiness and eternal salvation. During this season, even our liturgical worship changes in order to help us do this!
The Lenten liturgy reflects the forty days of ‘desert’ experience in that it becomes more simple and sere. There is no greenery or plants in the Church. The seasonal color (for Arts and Environment) is purple—the color of reconciliation. Our Sunday liturgies emphasize the Penitential Rite: we will sing a Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy). We fast from the Glory to God (the Gloria) and all Alleluias. Instead we sing a Gospel Acclamation of remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us: “Praise to You, Lord Jesus, King of endless glory, Savior of the World, Savior of the World.” We will chant the Lamb of God. These liturgical changes will allow us to enter into the spirit of the Lenten Season: one of repentance and reflection, of the covenant and our reconciliation, of the desert and Baptism.
The flood waters of Noah’s time could not accomplish what the waters of Baptism accomplish—God helps us restore our focus on Him—not through destruction—but through love and hope, and through our promises made at our Baptism. Lent is an opportunity for us to be made new; a season of fulfillment in order to renew God’s covenant with us, and our promises of faith with Him. Now is the Acceptable Time to Turn Our Hearts Around and to look Beyond the Days of Lent; to be raised On Eagle Wings and made more holy. Have a wonderful Lent!