Dear Members of Narashino Parish
✞The peace of the Lord be with you.
This Wednesday (March 2nd) is Ash Wednesday. I prayed that we could start the Lent with you on Ash Wednesday, but it was not possible. The number of new infections has decreased, but the utilization rate of hospital beds is still high, so we have not yet decided when the "Priority Measures to Prevent the Spread of Infections" will be lifted (as of February 27). So, through this letter, I would like to share with you the meaning of the Lent liturgy and hope that you will have a fruitful Lent.
1. About Lent
◇Lent is a period of time set aside to prepare for the Feast of the Resurrection. Through the liturgy of Lent, the
baptismal candidate prepares for the mystical feast of the Passover through the various stages of Christian initiation,
and the believer through the memorial and atonement for the baptism he has already received.
◇The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends before the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. The "Alleluia"
is not chanted from the beginning of Lent until before the Easter Vigil. In the beginning of Lent and before the
Easter Vigil, "Alleluia" is not sung, so another chant is sung before the Gospel reading in the Mass instead of
◇Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is a day of fasting everywhere, and the Ash Wednesday Ceremony is held on
that day. The Ash Wednesday ceremony can be done without Mass.
◇During Lent, Sundays are called as follows, “1st Sunday of Lent, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.
The sixth Lord's Day, on which Holy Week begins, is called the "Passion Sunday" (Palm Sunday).
2. Altar Decorations during Lent
The altar can be decorated with flowers in a modest way to reflect the season.
3. Use of Organs and Other Musical Instruments during Lent
Organs and other musical instruments are used only to support the singing, except on the 4th Sunday of Lent and
Thus, through the visible "signs" (ash ceremony, fasting, liturgical colors, altar decorations, etc.) we will spend Lent in abundance, but there is a more important preparation, an invisible practice, which is the call of the prophet Joel.
It is the words of the prophet Joel,
"Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.” (First Reading for Ash Wednesday)
February 27, 2022
Parish Priest Joseph Dinh