Lenten Liturgy, Corporal Works of Mercy, St. Michael Prayer (March 26)

Lenten Liturgy: Pink and Purple

The characteristic austerity and conversion associated with Lent are also reflected in the liturgical directives during these forty days. Like Advent, we use two liturgical colors during Lent: violet and rose. Violet is utilized in penitential seasons and rituals. In addition, it is associated with prayers of deliverance from evil. For these reasons the confessor wears a purple stole during the sacrament of Reconciliation and also purple vesture during house blessings and exorcisms. Violet is also an optional color that may be worn for any funereal liturgies throughout the year. In all these celebrations the color purple takes on a somber, serious meaning. We use purple when we must be serious about matters like death, sin, and the evil one. Lent is not meant to be morose, however, so halfway through the forty days we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, wherein we wear rose colored vestments and adorn the sanctuary with flowers and generously play instruments. The light and airy color of pink reminds us that, amidst the severity of Lent, Easter is almost here. Today we celebrate Laetare Sunday. 



Corporal Works of Mercy: Giving to the poor in the form of alms is a hallmark of Lent and Christian discipleship. Every month in our parish tithing envelopes and through special fundraisers we have the opportunity to give to our “Corporal Works of Mercy.” 100% of the donations you generously give to this special fund go to assist the poor and hungry. The majority of the funds are used to help our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society conference help those who come to us with demonstrable needs for utilities, furniture, and food. We also give monies from this fund to the Bethlehem House, Operation Others, and homeless shelters, The Stephen Center and Siena/Francis House. Thank you for your goodness and love of the poor.



Participation and the St. Michael Prayer: To help greater participation in the Mass you’ll find new, easy-to-use Mass cards in your pews with the musical notation and words for the basic parts of the Mass. Moreover, on the backside of the card you’ll find the words to the St. Michael Prayer with which we end every Mass. Why do we pray the St. Michael Prayer at the end of Mass? Inspired by the words and request of Pope Leo XIII, the Church officially added the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by Pope Leo XIII, at the end of Masses. These additions were known as the Leonine Prayers. As a result of the revisions of the Mass at Vatican II, these prayers are no longer mandated in the Mass but nothing prevents the recitation of the St. Michael Prayer after Mass is concluded. After all, we often pray public rosaries or other prayers immediately after Mass.


 Regarding the prayer, St. John Paul II asked everyone “not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world,” (Regina Caeli, April 24, 1994). Moreover, early in his pontificate, Pope Francis, with Pope Benedict XVI in attendance, consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael. During this rite on July 7, 2013, Pope Francis said:


We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him.


With the violence and numbers of homicides in our own city and throughout the country; the atrocities committed against the unborn, the aged, and the suffering; the assault upon the Church and religious freedom; the dissolution of the family; and the threats of terrorism, hatreds, and wars, now more than ever do we need the divine assistance and defense of the angels. Who better to call upon than the very angel who knocked Satan out of Heaven (Rev. 12:7ff)? St. Michael, pray for and protect us.