At St. Bernard’s Prep, we are preparing ourselves through prayer, fasting and alms giving ready for Easter. This time of preparation is called Lent.
Lent is the forty days before Easter. Christians do not include Sundays in the forty days because they celebrate Jesus’ resurrection every Sunday. Christians are preparing themselves for the death and resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. It is a time when we ask for God’s forgiveness – to give up the wrong doings in our lives.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.
Holy Week is the week leading up to the important Christian festival of Easter, beginning on Palm Sunday, including Maundy Thursday and ending on Holy Saturday.
Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week. It reminds Christians of the journey Jesus made into Jerusalem, on a donkey, to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach). Jesus chose a donkey to show that he had come in peace. Many people welcomed Jesus by shouting and waving palm branches. They hoped that Jesus was the Saviour who the Bible had promised.
In churches on Palm Sunday Christians are given small palm crosses made from palm leaves. Left over palm crosses are kept for a special church service on the first day of Lent, the following year, when they are burnt (Ash Wednesday). This ash is put on people's foreheads.
On the night before his death Jesus had a final meal with his friends. Before the meal, Jesus washed the feet of every disciple. He wanted to show them that they should always be humble and show love to one another. During this Last Supper, Jesus passed around bread and wine. He told them it would become his body and blood, and it should be shared always as a way to remember him. Christians celebrate this every Sunday during the Eucharist.
It was later this night when Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples – Judas – in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Easter Sunday is a happy day for Christians because they believe that Jesus rose from the dead on this day. They believe that Jesus' resurrection shows that death is not the end of everything. It is a new start, a new beginning for us all.
So, what happens at St. Bernard’s during Lent?
- The children will discuss the importance of preparing for Easter and how the Church gets ready.
- The school community will be raising money for their Lenten Charities.
- We participate in the CAFOD fast day.
Suggestions for home activities
Helping out at home: gardening, doing the dishes, helping to cook or tidy up.
Take food to the food bank.
Play games together as a family.
Donate money saved from giving up treats
Help a neighbour or help in your place of worship
Take time to pray