Pray. Fast. Give. Local Catholics talk about what Lent means to them.
On Wednesday, March 6, chances are that you will spot someone walking about with a dark smudge on their forehead. A closer look may even reveal the smudge to be a cross. When you kindly indicate to the person that there is something on their face, you may be told, "Oh, those are my ashes..."
The observance of Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season, a period of time in the Catholic tradition set apart for prayer, fasting and attending to the needs of those in our communitites. There are many ways to observe the practices and traditions of Lent, and we've compiled a few ideas below. Join us as we accompany our Lord through these 40 days of Lent and prepare our hearts to receive the gift of his death and resurrection.
Fast and Abstinence - guidelines from the USCCB
The 'Ups' of Lent - what are you giving up for Lent this year?
25 Great Things You Can Do for Lent besides giving up chocolate
40 Days of Soup - daily reflections and recipes
Questions and Answers on Lent and Lenten Practices from the USCCB
Consider receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Advise on prayer from Mother Teresa
A list of Lenten Prayers and DIY Retreats
Walk through Lent with Blessed is She
Experience the Stations of the Cross
Inspiration from the Diocese of Albany Digital Library
Support the work of Catholic Charities in our diocese
Help a student attend our Catholic Schools
Set up a Rice Bowl in your home
Check with your parish to see what needs you may be able to fill
Ash Wednesday Mass | Wednesday, March 6, at 5:15 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Join Bishop Scharfenberg for Mass and the distribution of ashes.
Rite of Election | Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Bishop Scharfenberger will celebrate the Rite of Election with catechumens (who are preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the next Easter Vigil) and the Call to Ongoing Conversion with candidates (who will be received into our Church through Confirmation and Eucharist).
Lenten Reconciliation Service | Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Join Bishop Scharfenberger for a Lenten Reconciliation Service and receive this sacrament of mercy and healing.
Chrism Mass | Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Gather with Bishop Scharfenberger and priests, deacons, religious and faithful from the Diocese to bless the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens and to consecrate the Sacred Chrism to be used in parishes across the Diocese.
Holy Thursday | Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrate Holy Thursday liturgy with Bishop Scharfenberger. After the liturgy, which will include the washing of the feet, the Eucharist will be reserved for adoration and quiet prayer untill 10 p.m., at which time Night Prayer will be said.
Good Friday | Friday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrate the Lord's Passion with Bishop Scharfenberger.
Easter Vigil | Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Join us celebrating the solemn Vigil of Easter and the Resurrection of the Lord. Bishop Scharfenberger will preside.
Easter Sunday Mass | Sunday, April 21, at 11 a.m. | Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Join Bishop Scharfenberger for Easter Sunday Mass