First Sunday of Lent

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Lenten Fact

In the early days of Christianity, Lent was a 40-day retreat to purify their body and spirit for those preparing for baptism at Easter. Since there was no practice of ritual infant baptism, this is how people entered the Church.

With the emergence of infant baptism and confirmation, this link between baptism and Lent was largely lost. The purification processes of Lent expanded to all Christians — both to support the new converts and to reaffirm and fortify their own faith.

Gradually, the link was further broken to the point where many people see Lent as nothing but abstinence from one or two beloved foods, rather than as a period of purification of the spirit.

In 1972, the Church restored RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults — a formal process for adults to enter the Church. With it also was restored the link between adult baptism and Lent.

Though catechumens in many dioceses have been in classes since Fall, today — the Sunday following Ash Wednesday — the period of preparation formally begins with the Rite of Election, in which each catechumen’s name is spoken aloud and read into a book of those who are to be baptized at the Easter Vigil.

Fast from being judgmental.

Pray for those who suffer prejudice in the world.

Give your time to talk to someone you normally wouldn’t interact with.

Slipped up? Don’t give up. Start again and share your
struggles at our “Slip Support Station” on Facebook.
Today’s Prize is: the March issue of Magnificat with the Lenten Companion

To win today’s prize: Give us your name and email address along with the email address of one friend you’d like to introduce to® using the form below by 3 a.m. EST tonight. (We will, in turn, send them one email asking them to register for our Busted Halo® weekly email updates. We do not SPAM people nor do we share our email lists with any third parties. Read contest rules here.)

Return to the Lent calendar.