PREPARING FOR LENT: A FAMILY AFFAIR By: Marie Tycangco

PREPARING FOR ASH WEDNESDAY
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Every year, Catholic churches around the world prepare for Ash Wednesday by burning palms, which were blessed during the previous year’s Palm Sunday.The priest begins the rites by calling the faithful to do penance and show mercy. After the palms are burned, the ashes are blessed by the priest and collected for use on Ash Wednesday.

Why are ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday used?
“Palm Sunday was when the people rejoiced at Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem. They celebrated his arrival by waving palm fronds, little realizing that he was coming to die for their sins. By using palms from Palm Sunday, it is a reminder that we must not only rejoice of Jesus’ coming but also regret the fact that our sins made it necessary for him to die for us in order to save us from hell.”

Why do we use ashes?
“Blessed ashes having been used in God’s rituals since the time of Moses.Ashes are a biblical symbol of mourning and penance. In Bible times, the custom was to fast, wear sackcloth, sit in dust and ashes, and put dust and ashes on one’s head. While we no longer normally wear sackcloth or sit in dust and ashes, the customs of fasting and putting ashes on one’s forehead as a sign of MOURNING and PENANCE have survived to this day.”

PREPARING AS A FAMILY
In this Year of the Family and the Eucharist, we are invited to kneel down to bring renewal to the family. With so many problems stemming from family issues, broken marriages, sibling rivalries, parental abuse, problem children, among others, we are called to strengthen our relationships with our family more than ever. This Lenten Season, let us mourn together and do penance as a family.
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Penance: Mutual Forgiveness
Pope Francis in his catechesis said: “The family cannot live well without mutual forgiving. Every act of forgiveness repairs the cracks in the house and strengthens its walls.”He says, “If we learn to ask for forgiveness immediately and mutually forgive one another, healing the wounds, the marriage is strengthened and the family home gradually becomes more solid, capable of resisting the shock of our small and great wickedness. Now, that does not require a big speech, but just a caress: a caress and everything is finished and starts again.”

Mourning: Praying and Making Sacrifices as a Family
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Family prayer not only strengthens each family member’s relationship with God, but also with each other. It makes each family member aware of each ones pains, thus are able to share the same with each other. Pray about marriage problems together; Pray about parental problems together; Pray about your children together; Pray for the world together.

Families can also make sacrifices as a family and together share in the passion of Christ. It doesn’t have to be heavy. The whole family can make simple sacrifices like going to Mass together or having family meals together or doing outreach work together throughout the season of Lent.

Let us also make the holidays Holy Days as a family, by staying home during the Holy Week and participating in Church activities. Join the Way of the Cross, which will be held every Friday starting Feb. 12, attend the Vigil on Holy Thursday, Visita Iglesia,Seven Last Words on Good Friday, Easter Vigil on Black Saturday and celebrate as a family on Easter Sunday.

PREPARING AS A COMMUNITY

Buling-Buling 2016 Dekada: A Retro Musical Affair
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Santuario de San Antonio Parish will be holding its annual Buling-buling festival on Feb. 9, 2015 (Tuesday) at the Parish Center Social Hall. A mass will be held at the main Church before the start of the festivities. JJ Yulo, Antioch adult leader, will be master of ceremonies for this year’s event. The different ministries will be showcasing their talents through song and dance numbers based on this year’s theme: Dekada: A Retro Musical Affair. Food stalls will also be set up. The festivities will be culminated with the burning of the blessed palms, which will be used on Ash Wednesday.

We would like to invite all the families to join the SSAP community for Buling-buling and as a community prepare for the season of Lent.

References:
http://prayerbookforreligious.blogspot.com/2011/03/palms-to-ashes-rite-of-burning-palms.html
http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/ASH_WED.htm
http://www.familiam.org/famiglia_eng/church/00004309_Pope_Francis.html

 

 

 

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