Diocese of Derry


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Lent 2022

The English word 'Lent' comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, meaning 'Spring'. In other languages the word comes from the Latin, Quadragesima – a period of 40 days. In the Christian tradition the forty days is understood to refer to a time of intense prayer and preparation; we remember the biblical stories of Noah and the flood of 40 days, the forty years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness and Christ's forty day fast in the desert in preparation for his earthly ministry. 

Diocese of Derry Daily Lenten Prayer 

Loving Father,
To prepare for His mission of proclaiming Your
kingdom to the world
Your Son Jesus was guided by Your Holy Spirit to the
quiet of the desert.

In these Lenten days, I pray that I will be guided by
that same Spirit,
to a place of renewal in my heart and mind, so that I
will seek opportunities for
daily personal prayer, personal sacrifices and acts of

With Your help, may I too be truly prepared to share in the story of the passion,
death and resurrection of Jesus Your Son, our Lord.


Friday Penance during Lent 2022

Penance is an essential part of the lives of all Christ's faithful. It arises from the Lord's call to conversion and repentance.

We do penance:

  • in memory of the passion and death of the Lord,
  • as a sharing in Christ's suffering,
  • as an expression of inner conversion,
  • as a form of reparation for sin.

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. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1438

Declaring some days throughout the year (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) as days of 'fast and abstinence' is meant to intensify penances of the Christian, not to isolate them.

Lent is the traditional season for renewal and penance. In addition to the season of Lent, Catholics observe each Friday of the whole year as days of penance.

The link between Friday and penance is extremely ancient and is even reflected in the Irish word for 'Friday', An Aoine (the fast).

Forms of Friday Penance

The following are suggested as ways of fulfilling Friday penance:

  • Abstaining from meat or some other food
  • Abstaining from alcoholic drink or smoking
  • Making a special effort at involvement in family prayer
  • Making a special effort to participate in Mass on Fridays
  • Visiting the Blessed Sacrament
  • Making the Stations of the Cross
  • Fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps giving what is saved to the needy
  • Helping the poor, sick, old, or lonely.

Tweets on Friday penance

The following are suggested tweets which could be tweeted each Friday during Lent:

Friday Penance: Make a special effort at family prayer. Make the Stations of the Cross. Do something to help the poor, sick or lonely.

Friday Penance: Make a special effort to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Abstain from meat or some other food.


#LivingLent 2022 | Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference

Welcome to our #LivingLent feature for the Season of Lent 2022... view more
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Contact Info

Diocesan Offices
St Eugene’s Cathedral
Francis Street, Derry
BT48 9AP | Tel: 028 7126 2302

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