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Lent & Holy Week

Lent is the 40 day-long season of preparation for the Feast of Easter that ends on Holy Thursday, three days before Easter Sunday. During Lent, Catholics recall their baptism and do penance – fasting, prayer, and almsgiving as they commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Christ our Lord. 

Coming to Weekday Mass is a great way to express a personal commitment to Christ during Lent.

Faith Formation in Lent meets then every Thursday of each week of Lent at St John Vianney’s presbytery at 7.00pm – this is especially beneficial for those who are undertaking any parish ministries & involvement (i.e. catechists, extraordinary ministers, readers, etc.)

Deanery Station Masses for Lent: Most of our Deanery Parishes across Blackpool this year will offer one concelebrated Mass each week to observe Lent together – thus, preparing together as a Deanery for the great Feast of Easter.

Mass on these days will be at 12 noon and will take the place of the usual daily Masses in each of the parishes. The Mass will be followed by a short Lenten talk and a soup lunch for ‘Mary’s Meals’.


The Blackpool Deanery Station Masses for Lent are as follows:

Wednesday 13th March at St John Vianney & St Monica’s

Wednesday 20th March at St Cuthbert’s

Tuesday 26th March at Our Lady of the Assumption

Tuesday 2nd April at Holy Family

Tuesday 9th April at St Kentigern’s

Do please try to join in these Masses and help each other with lifts to get there as needed.


Why do Catholics traditionally give something up during Lent?

To do penance in preparation for the greatest feast of our Christian calendar – Easter.

What is fasting and abstinence?

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are universal days of fast and abstinence. Catholics still consider Fridays especially in Lent as days of abstinence. Anyone over the age of 18 and under the age of 59 are obliged to fast and abstain. Fasting, in the Latin Church, is the limitation of food and drink – typically to one main meal and two smaller meals, with no solid foods in between. In lieu of fasting, one may substitute works of charity.

Abstaining, in this context, is refraining from meat.

What is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and how is it associated with Lent?

Easter is the proper time for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation. On or around the first Sunday of Lent, the catechumens (unbaptized people seeking admission in the Catholic Church) celebrate the Rite of Election and enter into the final period of preparation for the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Adults are baptized (or candidates are brought into full communion for baptized non-Catholics), confirmed, and receive their first Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.



What is Holy Week and what happens during this time?

This is the final week – or ‘Great Week’ of preparation before Easter Sunday; these days recount Christ’s final days on earth. Traditionally on the morning of Holy (Maundy) Thursday the priests of the Diocese of Lancaster gather for the Mass of Chrism held at the Cathedral in Lancaster.

What is the Triduum and when does Lent end?

Lent ends on Holy Thursday. Holy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday is the three-day period called the ‘Triduum’ where we remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.

What is Holy Thursday?

It is at this solemn celebration that we remember and celebrate Jesus’ gift of the Holy Eucharist. It is the night when we renew our mandate to serve one another in the washing of the feet, which first took place at the Last Supper.

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day that we recognize as the day that Jesus our Lord died on the cross.

What are the Stations of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross commemorate Jesus’ last journey in this world – from Pilate’s court to Calvary where he was crucified. Jesus’ mother Mary is believed to have often retraced the sorrowful way her Son made on Good Friday. Stations in Lent are on Sunday at 3.30pm at St John Vianney’s with the usual Benediction to follow.

What is Holy Saturday?

This day commemorates the period where Jesus’ body lay in the tomb. Easter begins later with the Easter Vigil – during these liturgies, the catechumens (those preparing to join the Catholic Church) are baptized and the candidates are brought into full Communion with the Catholic Church.

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