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Nine Ways to Live Lent in Lockdown

For the second time, we find ourselves in Lent during lockdown. However, this doesn't mean that normal Lenten practices and traditions have to be abandoned. Discover nine ways you can live Lent prayerfully this year, even if you can't leave your home.

How can Catholics live Lent during a pandemic? Many of the normal rituals and traditions that we’re used to are difficult to do with COVID restrictions in place. However, there are still ways we can grow closer to God even during a Lent lockdown. Focusing on the positives of the situation will ensure that we can still enter fully into Lent. With that in mind, here are nine things you can do this Lent, even during a pandemic.

  1. Go to Mass (physically or watch online). Many Catholic parishes still have Mass, with restrictions in place to ensure that people are kept safe. However, if you can’t get to Mass, watching online is a good alternative for the pandemic, even if it’s not as good as being physically present. Some options for watching online include:
    1. ChurchServices.tv has a timetable of Mass and other services from churches across the UK and Ireland, meaning that you can Livestream Mass at a time that’s convenient to you, and any day of the week.
    2. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham offers live-streamed Mass, Adoration, Rosary, the Divine Office and talks.
    3. Join beloved YouTube priest Fr Mike Schmitz for Mass every Sunday.Don’t forget to make an act of spiritual communion, which is the heartfelt desire to receive Our Lord, even when we are unable because of the distance or for some other reason.
  2. Give up something that you’ll miss. During this difficult time, it’s important not to give up more than you can deal with. Yet Lent is the perfect opportunity to ask yourself what you’re turning to for comfort instead of the Lord, so even if giving it up cold turkey seems too much, consider occasionally replacing it with prayer or spiritual reading.
  3. Go to adoration (physically or watch online). This pandemic has made us realise how much it matters to physically be in someone’s company, so if your church has adoration or individual prayer, it’s a fantastic thing to do more of during Lent. If you can’t physically go to adoration, you can go to adoration online (see our Mass links above or “go” to perpetual adoration at Tyburn Convent). For books to help you make a Holy Hour, try our Eucharistic adoration resources.
  4. Go to confession (or do an examination of conscience if you can’t get there). By going to confession, we become aware of our need for God’s mercy and the ways we need to change. If you can’t get to confession at the moment, do an Examination of Conscience anyway so that you’re aware of your sins, repent and promise to make amends and to go to confession as soon as possible. Then say an act of contrition. It’s important to note this isn’t a substitute for confession, however, and if you’re aware of committing a mortal sin it’s very important to find confession if it’s available or ask a priest to hear it socially distanced.
  5. Pray the rosary. If you don’t pray the rosary often at the moment, consider trying to pray it occasionally this Lent. How often you should pray it will differ for different people; some may manage every day, others may only manage it once during Lent. If you’re not sure how to pray the rosary, here is a handy explanation.
  6. Help those in need. In addition to fasting, it’s also recommended that Catholics give alms during Lent – that is, giving to those in need. A great idea would be to increase your donation to your local parish if you’re able, as many parishes are struggling financially during the pandemic. Alternatively, CTS is a charity and donations help us provide resources for prisoners and students, among others.
  7. Pray for others. Pope Francis has monthly prayer intentions that you can pray for, or you may like to pray for friends or family you haven’t seen in a while, or for those most affected by the pandemic such as keyworkers, the grieving, the sick, and those who have died, as well as politicians and scientists making decisions on behalf of our country.
  8. Pray the Stations of the Cross. Traditionally Catholics pray the Stations of the Cross during Lent, and this can be done even from home with the use of our Stations of the Cross booklets.
  9. Spiritual Reading. Reading is something we can all do safely from our homes and inspires us to become closer to the Lord. If you want something with a Lenten theme, we recommend our new book Praying the Our Father in Lent, or you can choose from any of our Lent titles. Your reading doesn’t have to be Lenten themed, however, so you can find all our recommendations for books here.

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