Ash Wednesday 2008

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Pope Benedict Begins Lent

From the Vatican:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of our annual Lenten journey of prayer and penance. In the early Church, Lent was the time when catechumens prepared for Baptism, accompanied by the prayers of the whole Christian community. Today, too, the Lenten season is a privileged moment of conversion and spiritual renewal for the whole Church. The rite of the imposition of ashes is a summons to return to God and, in doing so, to discover authentic freedom and joy. Jesus reminds us that only by “losing” our life will we truly “find” it. Our ultimate fulfilment is found in God alone, who satisfies our deepest longings. By taking up our cross and following the Lord, we experience redemption, inner peace and loving solidarity with our brothers and sisters. During Lent, in addition to prayer and fasting, the Church invites us to practice almsgiving as an expression of our desire to imitate Christ’s own self-giving and his generous concern for others. As we set out once again on this journey of spiritual renewal, may Mary, Mother of the Church, guide us to a fruitful celebration of Easter. A Blessed Lent to all of you!

Pope Changes Prayer for Good Friday

For the Extraordinary Rite:

Note by the Secretariat of State:

With reference to the dispositions contained in the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of 7 July 2007, about the possibility of using the last edition of the Missale Romanum before the Second Vatican Council, published in 1962 by the authority of Blessed John XXIII, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has decided that the Oremus et pro Judaeis of the liturgy of Good Friday contained in said Missale Romanum be substituted by the following text:

Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, (with the result) that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.

Let us pray. Kneel. Rise.

Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fulness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

This text must be used, beginning from the current year, in all celebrations of the Liturgy of Good Friday according to the aforementioned Missale Romanum.

From the Vatican, 4 Febraury 2008

Ash Wednesday

“It is unwise if we look at everything that we have acquired in our lives without the consciousness that everything is dust, and to dust it will return.'”

(Open Wide the Door to Christ, pg. 160)

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