Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Who moved my Lent?" - Liturgical Coordinators' Gathering follow-up

On January 9, 2007, about 25 liturgical coordinators gathered at Casa Maria Conference Center in Los Gatos to discuss several lenten liturgical issues and share ideas. Here's a report on what we talked about.

Lenten ideas for connecting liturgy with justice

Ash Wednesday

  • Can people take ashes home? - Some people have encountered people asking to take ashes home for family members who were unable to partipate in the parish's Ash Wednesday liturgy. We talked about the benefits of letting people take some ash home and also about the concern that people might "desecrate" the ashes or approach this in a "consumerist" way. In the end we felt that because of the nature of the day (when so many visitors and marginal Catholics come to church), it was best to use this as an opportunity to reach out to those we may never see during the year. In the same way that we allow people to take home holy water to use as a sacramental, ashes could also be given to those who want to bring them to loved ones at home. One parish in the past had prepared small envelopes containing a bit of the blessed ashes and a blessing for Lent printed on the envelope. We also suggested adding the parish's contact information and Lent and Holy Week schedule on these envelopes.

Ashes and palms

  • How do you burn palms to make your own ashes for Ash Wednesday? - The liturgy director at Holy Family described how they do it. They put announcements in the bulletin two weeks before Ash Wednesday inviting parishioners to bring their dried palms from last year's Palm Sunday to any of the Masses on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. After each Mass on that weekend, they invite anyone who would like to stay to participate in a short ritual of burning the palms outside. The priest says a few words instructing the people about the tradition of burning palms for ashes. Then they burn the palms in a copper kettle with a screen. They also microwave the ashes afterward to kill any bacteria.
  • Here's another blogger tackling the same question.

Reconciliation services

Lenten movies


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