Archive for the ‘Lent’ Category

Ash Wednesday

Posted: March 19, 2019 in Lent, Prayer

Father in Heaven, Protect us in our struggle against our weaknesses.  As we begin the discipline of Lent, make this season holy by our self-denial. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen

What is Lent? 

 Lent is a preparation time before Easter. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before he started his public ministry.  We in the same way, spend 40 days fasting, abstaining, praying and doing something extra.

Reader 1: We pray for the Church and her members,  Let them not neglect the grace they have received, but turn again to the Lord in prayer and repentance.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 2: We pray for the leaders of the world, Let them understand that man does not live by bread alone, and seek, by their laws, a deeper meaning to life by reconciling all men to each other.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 1: We pray for those who are caught up in sinful habits, Let them be faithful to the Gospel, which will bring about in them a change of heart, and turning again to the light of grace, let them abandon the ways of sin.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 2: We pray for the members of our school, Let the giving of ashes today be a sign to us that material things will disappear, and help us to give more attention to the things of the spirit.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 1: Mary’s life was filled with prayer, with her we pray. Hail Mary.

Reader 2: We pray for a moment in silence for our own intentions.

Miss Whelan: Father, complete your work of spiritual renewal during Lent, and throughout the years ahead, as we spend our lives in your loving, prayerful service. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Why Ashes?

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

SENDING FORTH: Dismissal with Blessing

May God, who has forgiven and fed us,
now make us strong for these days ahead.

May Jesus lead us, and we be found faithful to follow.

May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness,
burning away the chaff of our lives,
and purifying our hearts for all to see
and be blessed.

Pastor: And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Be with us and remain with us always! (more…)

Repent it is Lent

Posted: March 7, 2017 in Lent

Lent has now started, and we begin this weekend’s readings remind us of the temptations that we may face over the next 40 days.

Let us pray the Our Father, placing out Lenten journey in God’s hands, and asking for strength and protection.

Lead us not into temptation




Holy Week

Posted: March 21, 2016 in Lent

This week is the most important weeks of the Christian calendar. Palm Sunday marked Jesus triumphant journey into Jerusalem yesterday, and each day this week has special meaning to helps us lead up to Christ’s death on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The assembly theme this week is the Stations of the Cross. This web site has some brilliant reflections on the stations for each day. You can also find some CAFOD stations of the cross in the Chaplaincy folder.

Virtual Stations of the Cross

In addition to this, some Year 9 students have created a seven slide PowerPoints that explain the significance of each day of Holy Week. They again are in the Chaplaincy folder / Holy Week.
Staff prayer continues, as does our last Lenten Lunch this Wednesday.

I hope that you all have a blessed week,

6 ways to pray during Lent

Posted: February 24, 2016 in Lent

Prayer can take many forms.  This Lent, is may be a good idea to review how you pray and perhaps try a different way of praying.  Below are just a few ideas:

1. Make your abstinence a prayer-in-action.

As Catholics we are called to give up something for Lent.  Chocolate, coffee, that extra helping of dinner, one less hour of video games or watching DVDs—whatever it is, you can make what you’re giving up for Lent a prayer as well: a prayer-in-action. Whenever you encounter the thing you are abstaining from or the time of day that you would normally enjoy it, take a moment to say a prayer in recognition of your wholeness in God even without the thing you have given up. Thank God for the freedom to be wholly yourself without this and, at the same time, acknowledge the gift of its existence in the world.

2. Renew yourself through personal reflective prayer.

Lent is a time of spiritual renewal. One easy step you can take is to use the many free online resources to jump-start or reinvigorate your prayer life. Choose one of the sites on the Prayer page tab below and take a mini three minute retreat or daily reflection.

3. Pray the Stations of the Cross.

One of the most common traditions of Lent is to pray the Stations of the Cross.  This prayer helps us reflect on the passion and death of Christ in preparation for Good Friday observance and the Easter celebration. We are holding the stations of the Cross every Friday in the school Chapel.  Check your local parish Web site or bulletin for listings of when a Stations of the Cross prayer service is being offered too, or try one of the many online resources available, such as this one for praying the Stations with children.

4. Meditate on Holy Scripture with Lectio Divina.

Perhaps the oldest method of scriptural prayer known to Christians is lectio divina or “holy reading.” This method of prayer is characterized by the slow reading and consideration of a text from Scripture, with repetition and meditation on key words or phrases. Lectio divina is rooted in the belief that the scriptural word speaks in the human heart as the word of God and can reveal the thoughts of our hearts in response to God. In this way, lectio divina leads to a deeper communion with the Divine.

5. Reflect deeper on your liturgical prayer.

When you attend Mass during Lent, be conscious of and meditate on the words you pray in the liturgy. For example, the Eucharistic Prayer, the highlight of each Mass, has special significance during Lent. After receiving communion, you may want to sit and reflect more deeply on this great prayer of the Church.

6. Start a practice of daily prayer that will last after Lent.

Perhaps the best prayer advice is to use Lent as a time to instill prayer habits that will last long after Lent has concluded. Resources such as yearly prayer guides—for example, A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions can get you started and help you stay consistent.

So enjoy your Lenten prayer.  And don’t think you have to do all the above.  Perhaps choose one or two of these prayer methods to concentrate on—and then you can more fully experience the pilgrim journey toward Easter that is Lent.


Posted: February 24, 2016 in Lent
Lent Prayer
Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring prayer, fasting and almsgiving as part of our Lenten journey.  This week the focus is prayer. AS well as using the resources on the Prayer tab above, below are a few activities that could be used in form during prayer time:
Put up a wall calendar and ask your form to write their names beside their date of birth. Thank God for each student during their birthday week.
Ask everyone in the form to put their name on a piece of paper. Place the pieces of paper into a hat or another convenient container. Then pass the hat around the form and ask each student to take out a piece of paper. Encourage them to pray for that person during the coming week.
Ask the group to face each of these directions in turn and then pray together in silence, or out loud, for any specific needs, personal, individual, local, national, global in that direction. An example of this could be: North (towards Edgware hospital) – Pray for all who are ill , South (towards London) – Pray for those who are ruling our country, East (towards St Margaret Clitherow)  – Pray for our local Parishes,  West – Pray for the people of Syria.
Collect together some of the TV news headlines (local, national, global) from the previous week as a short video or PowerPoint presentation. Alternatively, select 3-4 headlines from newspapers and stick them to a piece of card. Ask students to write a prayer about one of the subjects, and then in turn, to read them out. Or, give out copies of the day’s newspapers and ask the young people to cut out or highlight stories they wish to pray for.
Place a large map at the centre of the room. Read 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 and invite students to get into small groups of 3 or 4 and encourage them to pray for those in authority. Pray for the government and leaders. Pray for wisdom as they govern. Pray that peace and justice might rule in their lives.
Please also remind students that there is daily prayer in the Chapel at 8:10am every day,  plus lunch time activities:
Monday – Meditation
Tuesday – Eucharistic services in the Chapel
Wednesday -, CAFOD soup and a roll lunch in RE4
Thursday –  Private prayer in the Chapel
Friday – Stations of the Cross in the Chapel
Have a prayerful week,
The Chaplaincy team

Repent it’s Lent

Posted: February 6, 2016 in Lent

This weeks is the beginning of the most solemn season of the liturgical year – Lent.  The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial.
At school, we will mark Ash Wednesday with fast, abstinence and a services, where we are reminded  to “Repent and believe the Good News. As this year is the Year of Mercy, services will focus also on becoming Merciful like the Father.

During Lent every member of the school community is encouraged to go to Confession, walk through the Mercy Archway in the Peace Garden, and commit to an Act of Mercy. Prayer will take place every morning at 8:20am and The Stations of the Cross, will be said every Friday in the Chapel during Lunch.

Choose Love

Posted: March 22, 2015 in Lent

First Week of Lent

Posted: February 23, 2015 in Lent


New life

Posted: April 3, 2014 in Lent

New life

Many students at St James’ have been involved in RE Lenten challenges – setting themselves goals around fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Not only are they a goal in themselves, but students are noticing a change in relationship with others.
A final Lent challenge has now been set. Students have been given a small bulb.

During the Easter holidays they are encouraged to plant in, water it, care for it and watch it grow into a beautiful flower.
This image is similar to what happens to us during Lent. Through our fasting, prayer and almsgiving we prune back the clutter that has taken over, look outward towards others and continue to grow into unique and beautiful person God intended us to be.

The Wilderness

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Lent

The Wilderness