Getting Ready for Lent
This coming Wednesday, February 26, is the beginning of Lent for all of us in the Latin Rite. We inaugurate Lent by fasting (one full meal, two smaller meals, no snacking) for adults from the ages of 18 to 59, abstinence from meat for all those over the age of 14 years, and many attend Holy Mass and are marked with blessed ashes as a sign of the desire to repent of sin, to renew the baptismal commitment to living the Gospel, and to remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return.
The Stations of the Cross are also a common prayer during Lent in order to meditate upon the Passion of Our Lord. I came across a new recording of J.S. Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion” which is a musical rendition of the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus. I have never really listened to it before and this particular setting by the King’s College Choir I found to be very moving. I asked someone on the YouTube channel to translate the German for me, which was done within hours of my request. And so, I offer this as a meditation to begin the Lenten season. I am including the English translation and an icon of the “Bridegroom”, as represented in the Eastern Christian tradition, Jesus crowned with thorns, wearing a purple cloak in mockery of His claim to be King, bound and holding a reed as His scepter.
May this bring you a deeper realization of His Love for you, help you to repent of your sins and live the Gospel more faithfully.
1. Chorus I and II and Chorale (Daughters of Zion and Faithful Souls)
Come, daughters, help me lament,
Behold Him!—How?—As a Lamb:
Behold!—What? Behold the patience, look! Where?—at our guilt.
See him, out of love and graciousness
Bear the wood for the Cross Himself,
O innocent Lamb of God, slaughtered on the trunk of the Cross, patient at all times,
However You were scorned
You have borne all our sins,
Otherwise we would have to despair.
Have mercy on us, O Jesus!