Lent at IHMS


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.


Constantine Lent is one of the oldest observations on the Christian calendar. Although there’s evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation for Easter in the early days of the Church, Lent becomes more regularized after the legalization of Christianity by the Roman emperor Constantine in the early 4th century.
 Like all Christian holy days and holidays, Lent has changed over the years, but its purpose has always been the same – the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement, and self denial.
This year, in the Ukrainian Catholic faith, the season of Lent began on Monday, February 24 and continues until Easter, which for 2020 is on Sunday April 12.


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 is: “Kindness and Mercy”


This year’s theme for Lent at IHMS


During the season of Lent, 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.


The school’s social justice team, SMAC, held a fund-raising pancake breakfast on Monday, February 24, the first day of Lent in the Ukrainian rite


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.


For this year’s Christian service project, the school’s social justice team (SMAC) will be raising money to support “Home of Hope” in Ukraine. The Home of Hope is a safe house located in Lviv, Ukraine that is a shelter for female teenagers who leave the many orphanages in Ukraine and end up on the streets without a family or a place to live.


The Home of Hope, owned and operated by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, is a shelter for female teenagers in Lviv, Ukraine


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 28 in the school gym immediately after opening exercises. During the service, students were told about this year’s Christian service project.


The Lenten Prayer Service took place on Friday, February 28


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.