The liturgical season of Lent is a time of abstinence, prayer, and personal reflection in preparation for Easter. The 40 day period of Lent (which does not include Sundays) is symbolic of the 40 days and nights that Jesus spent praying and fasting in the desert before starting his ministry.
To keep the school’s approach to Lent vibrant and interesting, a new and different Lenten theme is selected every year. This year’s theme, inspired by Pope Francis, is: “The Joy of Lent”.
|The IHMS Lenten theme for 2018|
While Lent is a time for sacrifice, reflection, and prayer, Pope Francis has called for a greater appreciation of Lent by approaching it with a sense of Joy.
During the Lenten season, the staff and students of IHMS will be focusing on six different virtues, one for each of the six weeks of Lent. They are:
In addition, students and staff will recite “The Prayer of St. Ephrem” every morning during opening exercises. The Prayer of St. Ephram “is considered to be the most succinct summation of the spirit of Great Lent and is hence the Lenten prayer par excellence, prayed during all Lenten weekday services”.
|“The Prayer of St. Ephram” is recited every morning during opening exercises by both students and staff during the season of Lent.|
Every year, the students of IHMS observe the season of Lent by participating in a Christian service project. Helping others without an expectation of getting something back in return can be a life-changing event. In fact, Christian service is one of the most powerful ways to show youth the Gospel in action.
|A Biblical quotation underlining the importance Christian Servive|
For this year’s Christian service project, Mrs. Walkow and the school’s social justice team (SMAC) volunteered 5 hours of their time, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Manitoba Special Olympics Winter games. These games were held on Saturday February 24, 2018 at St. John’s Ravenscourt School.
|The front entrance to St. John’s Ravenscourt School where the Manitoba Special Olympics Winter games were held on Saturday February 24, 2018|
|Classroom teachers also taught the importance of Lent during Religion classes. A booklet entitled “The Joy of Lent” was distributed to all IHMS teachers at the beginning of Lent. Teachers found the booklet to be a useful resource for Lenten ideas and classroom activities.|
In addition to the various activities taught during Religion class by the K-8 teachers, there was one planned activity that was appropriate for all grades and involved the entire school – a Lenten Prayer Service. The Prayer Service took place on Friday, February 23 in the school gym immediately after opening exercises. During the service, students explained yjr six different virtues listed above, one for each of the six weeks of Lent. The entire program took about 40 minutes, and ended with a short song.
|A few scenes from Friday’s Lenten Prayer Service|
The liturgical season of Lent is an important part of school life at IHMS. Focusing on people less fortunate than ourselves helps us to prepare for Easter. It gives us the opportunity to improve ourselves and become more aware of our relationship with God. This is what Lent is all about – it helps us to become better people.
|Lent helps us become better people|