Opportunities to Reflect in the Season of Lent

College offerings include resources for community both on and off campus

The Christian season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10. In addition to services held on campus, there are a number of reflection opportunities available to members of the Holy Cross community throughout the Lenten Season. Each strives to provide a way to enter into the sacred season of Lent in the midst of everyday life.

For the second time, the Office of the Vice President for Mission will offer a daily Lenten reflection booklet, "Return to Me: Lenten Reflections from Holy Cross, 2016." This annual resource contains reflections written by a wide variety of people with connections to the College — faculty, current students, chaplains, staff, and alumni of the College. Those who subscribe will be sent an email each morning containing a reflection, and the listing of sacred texts from Scripture for each day of Lent. The full reflection series is also available for download as a PDF. To sign up for the daily Lenten reflection email, or to download the PDF, please visit www.holycross.edu/returntome.

Members of the Holy Cross community are also invited to participate in “A Book for Lent.” The tradition began with Saint Benedict in the 5th century, who, in Chapter 48 of his Holy Rule, writes: "During this time of Lent each [monk or nun] is to receive a book from the library and is to read the whole of it straight through. These books are to be distributed at the beginning of Lent." For the monks and nuns participating, the books were not always religious in nature; sometimes, they were works of fiction or poetry. Thus began a long and continuing tradition of spiritual reading during the six weeks of Lent. For a modern application of this practice, the Office of the Vice President for Mission offers ten short and accessible suggestions:

  • “Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job” by Kerry Weber (2014)*
  • “Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit” by Paula Huston (2011)
  • “God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter” edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe (2013)
  • “Tattoos on the Heart” by Gregory Boyle, S.J. (2010)
  • “The Lord and His Prayer” by N.T. Wright (1996)
  • “The Abbey” by James Martin, S.J. (2015)*
  • “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson (2004)
  • “What Happened to Sophie Wilder?” by Christopher R. Beha (2012)
  • “Thirst” by Mary Oliver (2006)
  • “Felicity” by Mary Oliver (2015)*

The books marked with an asterisk (*) have also been selected for a Lenten book discussion group, which will meet on campus three times during Lent. For more information on the discussion group or to register, please email Rev. Paul Harman, S.J. at pharman@holycross.edu.

Schedule of Services – Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10 Ashes will be distributed at all services.

  • 8:15 a.m. Ecumenical Morning Prayer, Mary Chapel
  • 12:05 p.m. Catholic Mass, Mary Chapel
  • 5 p.m. Ecumenical Evening Prayer, Mary Chapel
  • 9 p.m. Catholic Mass, St. Joseph Memorial Chapel