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The Essential Lenten Handbook and Observance of Lent

Updated on March 4, 2015
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

The 1st Station of the Cross
The 1st Station of the Cross | Source

Here's a Peek Inside!

What I like most about 'The Essential Lenten Handbook' is that it is a very versatile resource that I can mix and match as I please.

I have had this book since 2006 and my use of it has never been the same for any of the Lenten seasons from then until now. There are 6 sections which allow you to do this mixing and matching, as follows:

Summary of Sections inside 'The Essential Lenten Handbook'

(click column header to sort results)
In-depth explanation of the history & meaning of Lent.
Traditional Lenten practices such as, Stations of the Cross, Lenten Meditations, Examination of Conscience (based on the 10 Commandments) and Devotions in honour of the Passion of Our Lord.
An unusual, interesting and inspiring excerpt from Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s book/writing titled “The Way of Salvation & of Perfection”. These are basically eight (8) ‘Rules of Life’ that provide us with 8 daily tasks which, if we are disciplined enough to follow each day, will purportedly lead us towards living a perfect life on earth and ultimately, salvation. This section goes well beyond the season of Lent, as you can see.
Traditional Catholic prayers that are appropriate for Lent.
‘Modern Practices & Prayers for Lent’; one readings & meditation for each Friday in Lent, as well as prayers and a Litany, with a modern feel and style.
A collection of daily meditations based on the Mass readings during Lent.
Summary of Sections inside 'The Essential Lenten Handbook'

New Formats & Insights for Each Lenten Season!

5 stars for The Essential Lenten Handbook (St. Alphonsus Ligouri)
What to Give Up….
What to Give Up…. | Source

More about St. Alphonsus Ligouri

Did you know before today that Saint Alphonsus Ligouri was proclaimed a 'Doctor of the Church'?

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Why Should We Observe Lent?

As I write this lens (article), I am hearing from my friends who live in countries with continental climate (spring, summer, autumn, winter) and they are already looking forward to Spring following a brutal Winter. Luckily in my neck of the woods, I only have to deal with dry season and rainy season.

Life would be monotonous without seasons! There are climatic seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter, rainy, dry), life cycle seasons (birth, growth, reproduction, death) and, as emphasized in Ecclesiastes 3, other seasons that we experience during the course of living (sorrow, joy, mourning, dancing, tearing, mending, silence, talking, war, peace, tearing down, building, kissing, making love, finding, losing, saving, throwing away) etc. All of these seasons have their time and place in adding to the mystery and wonder of life and living.

Likewise the Catholic Church has seasons in the life of the Church. LENT, which is an approximate 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday), is one of those seasons which celebrates or acts as a remembrance of Jesus' wilderness experience, wherein He fasted for 40 days before beginning His earthly mission (Matthew 4).

Ash Wednesday & Lent in Two Minutes

What is LENT Really All About?

Lent is a solemn season corresponding to the winter season of the Church’s Liturgical Year, which begins in Easter (spring).

Lent also reminds us about the evening tide of our life - death - with the symbolic use of ashes at the start of the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday.

Just as we periodically cleanse our bodies by taking purges or doing short cleansing fasts, so too as Catholics, we should use the solemn season of Lent and its three (3) forms of penance - Prayer, Fasting (Abstinence), Charity (Almsgiving) - for spiritual cleansing, to strengthen our spiritual journey and to bring us into even closer union with God.

Prayer: “The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Fasting (Abstinence): “The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Charity (Almsgiving): “The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbour in his spiritual and bodily necessities…especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Fast, Pray, Give: A Six-Week Guide
Fast, Pray, Give: A Six-Week Guide

A great lenten resource for family, prayer groups, youth groups, that is based on the 3 forms of penance observed by Catholic during Lent.


What Lenten Observance will you be focusing most on this Lent?

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...for delicious recipes, winning gift ideas and inspirational Catholic & Christian articles.

What Jesus Saw from the Cross
What Jesus Saw from the Cross

A sort of 'Stations of the Cross' with details that will bring deeper meaning to your faith and understanding of Jesus' Passion.


© 2014 Heidi Vincent

I wish you a peaceful Lenten season! Leave a prayer wish for improvement of a situation in some part of the world.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Enjoyed studying this, very good stuff, regards . A man may learn wisdom even from a foe. by Aristophanes. ebfebcdekdda

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hello, always i used to check blog posts here in the early hours in the daylight, bdeeafedadbb

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @JoanieMRuppel54: You're welcome jsr54. Thanks for visiting and have a blessed week.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Thank you and to you also.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @GrammieOlivia: Thank grammieo! Thanks for visiting and have a fabulous 'gardening' weekend and more :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great review and explanation for those who have no idea about these Catholic practices. Well done.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @esmonaco: Thanks esmanaco! There's so much happening during the season of Lent that it sometimes gets crowded out. Thanks for one of your usual visits. Enjoy the rest of your week and have blessed weekend.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @vetochemicals: I am glad you appreciate my writing about it rnhealthinfo. Thanks for visiting and letting me know this. Enjoy the rest of your week and have blessed weekend. Happy Easter in advance to you also :)

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Many Thanks for the remainder of this Lenten Season, A wonderful lens :)

    • vetochemicals profile image


      4 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      This sounds like such a great book, I never heard of it before until I saw you on the front page of Squidoo. Thanks for letting us know about it during Lent and Happy Easter to you! xoxo

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @Merrci: Thanks Merrci! Have a blessed week and thanks for your usual visits.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      @ColettaTeske: Glad you appreciate my sharings, Beartale. Thanks for visiting and have a blessed week.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This sound like an excellent book. Great lens, Heidi!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing the positive and healthy ideals of the Catholic religion. Our belief in Christianity, humanity and a better life for everyone.


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