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In Home Religious Ed for February 2019

Feb 20, 2019

In Home Religious Education

Session 4

Topic: Ash Wednesday & Lent

Date: February 2019 (February 24 & 27)


       I.            Introduction


Objective: The families will be able explain the symbolism of ashes for Ash Wednesday and specific facts about Lent.


Lent is a penitential season in the Church year made up of six Sundays and forty weekdays that prepare us for the highest feast day in the Catholic Church year---Easter Sunday.  It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the celebration Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. 


We can prepare our minds and our hearts for the Lenten season by learning more about the special day we receive ashes, what is the meaning of the season of Lent and why it is so very important in our faith life.  


    II.            Opening Prayer


Do: As a family, make the Sign of the Cross and pray the following prayer together out loud.


                        Lord Jesus Christ,

                        Be with all those who are in need this day.

                        Help our families keep a good and holy Lent.

                        Bring us quickly to the glory of Easter.

                        We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.



  III.            Lent

What is Lent?

The word “Lent” comes from the Anglo Saxon word “lencten (spring).  Lenctentid was the Saxon name for March because it is the month when days become longer.  The Lenten Season slowly comes to an end with Holy Week:  Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  (Technically the great feast is the Easter Vigil when catechumens (unbaptized people) and candidates (those baptized in another faith) come into full communion in the Catholic Church.


View as a family your choices of two Lent/Ash Wednesday videos below: (all ages---busted halo) (kids---lego) (parents and older



What is the Triduum?

Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday) celebrates the heart of the Christian faith to which all leads, and from which, all flows:  Jesus’ redemptive death and resurrection.    


       An Illustrated Guide to the Triduum

 IV.            Ash Wednesday


Why ashes?????

On Ash Wednesday Christians flock to churches to celebrate the beginning of the Lenten season.  They receive ashes that come from the palms from the year before.  The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As Fr. Dennis, or another liturgical minister, applies the ashes to a person's forehead, speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."



Alternatively, the priest (or liturgical minister) may speak the words, "Repent and believe in the Gospel." (Fr. Dennis)



What do the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” symbolize?

Jesus made it clear that repentance and faith are like opposite sides of the same coin. The Gospel writer Mark in chapter 1 verse15 records the inspired summary of Jesus' message as He began His ministry: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Repentance and faith go together because if you believe that Jesus is the Lord who saves (faith), you have a changed mind about your sin and yourself (repentance); and if you repent, it is because you trust that Jesus is the Lord who saves through his death and resurrection.


    V.            Dust


Sometimes we hear “From dust you came to dust you shall return” which is based first in the book of Genesis. God created human beings from the very same substance of the earth. Dirt. Dust. The natural elements, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc.


“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  Dust. Dirt. The elements. But something else, too. God’s breath. A soul.


God later told Adam, the first man, he will eventually return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return. That is the meaning.


We are mortal beings, created by God out of the dust of the earth—the same substance as the material universe around us—carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, etc. And to these physical elements our bodies will return. And we are utterly dependent upon God for everything.


Lent begins on March 6, 2019, Ash Wednesday.  Make sure to get your ashes in Church!


Challenge:  Submit a picture of your family with their ashes on their foreheads. Submit by email or on the St. Margaret Mary RE private facebook page.

 VI.            Closing Prayer


Do: As a family, make the Sign of the Cross and pray the following prayer together out loud.


                                Merciful God,

                        You called us forth from the dust of the earth;

                        You claimed us for Christ in the waters of baptism.

                        Look upon us as we enter these Forty Days bearing the mark of ashes.

                        Bless our journey through the desert of Lent to the font of rebirth.

                        May our fasting be a hunger for justice; our alms, a making of peace;

                        our prayer, the chant of humble and grateful hearts.

                        All that we do and pray is in the name of Jesus, for in his cross you proclaim

                        your love for us now and forever.                                                      Amen!


VII.            Discussion


Do: Once you have gone through the entire lesson, as a family, please answer the questions and submit the Survey to complete the In Home Session*. The survey was also sent out by email (Survey Monkey) and can be completed by either link.

Survey Link:

*Please note that In Home Religious Education counts towards the total Religious Education hours needed for the diocesan requirement and attendance is taken from the completed surveyThank you!





St. Margaret Mary Parish

Religious Education

(920) 729-4562

Amy Bolle, DRE

Tina Peirick, CRE


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