Lesson 1: Holy Water

Welcome to my 40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass! I look forward to journeying through Lent with you. I know you’ll learn something new about the Mass and I hope that it helps to deepen your faith. Please feel free to share these lessons with your friends and family, and let them know that it’s easy to sign up to receive these free daily emails. Be assured of my prayers for a fruitful Lenten season! And here, without further ado, is the first Lenten Lesson on the Mass:

A hand dips into the holy water font

As you enter the Church, look for the Holy Water font near the entrance. It is a pious custom to dip your right hand in the font and bless yourself with the Holy Water as you quietly say, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” This little ritual reminds us of our baptism – that’s why the font is near the door of the Church, because we ‘entered the Church through baptism.’ At the same time, this gesture is also a sacramental and can absolve us of our venial sins. It helps remind us that we have just entered into a sacred place for a sacred time.

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and abstinence. If you need a refresher on the Catholic fasting and abstinence obligations during Lent, click here.
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