Ash Wednesday Services, Lenten Events and Activities

Our Ash Wednesday Schedule


  • 7:30 am ~ Mass (Ashes distributed during Mass.)
  • 10:00 am ~ NCA’s school Mass (Ashes distributed during Mass.)
  • 6:00-6:45 pm ~ Ashes distributed.
  • 7:00 pm ~ Mass (Ashes distributed during Mass.) 

Stations of the Cross - Fridays at 3:00 pm



Stations of the Cross will be prayed every Friday during Lent at 3:00 pm in Church beginning Friday, February 28. 

On Good Friday, April 10, there will be Living Stations of the Cross at 3:00 pm, featuring teens from the parish.

Lenten Food Drive - Saturday, March 7 & Sunday, March 8


 Teens from our parish will host their annual Lenten food drive for Care for Real on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8 in the back of Church. 

Empty bags will be distributed to parishioners next weekend, Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1, to fill with donations. 

Lenten Reconciliation Service - Sunday, March 22 at 1:00 pm


 Our Lenten Reconciliation service will be Sunday, March 22 at 1:00 pm in Church. We will celebrate the forgiveness of our sins which was gained for us through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  This service lasts less than an hour and offers time for reflection and quiet prayer.  

Almoners Program


Beginning, Sunday, March 1, $5 gift cards to McDonald’s will be 

distributed each weekend in Lent, with the intention of parishioners sharing them and a conversation with those in need. 

CRS Lenten Rice Bowls


Catholic Relief Services’ Lenten rice bowls are available in the back of Church. The CRS program is meant to encourage praying, fasting, learning and giving.   

Lenten Small Groups

Lent 2020: Discovery of Mission Through Prayer

As part of our Lent 2020, everyone is invited to join a Lenten small group. Groups will meet six times during the Lenten season, beginning February 22-23. 

Groups will meet the weekends of (or during the weeks following the weekends of) February 22-23, February 29/March 1, March 7-8, March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29. This ensures all groups can complete their meetings before Holy Week. You can still sign up for one of the faith-sharing groups' sheets in the back of church this weekend. We expect to have small groups meeting each Sunday after the 8:00 am and 10:30 am Masses in either the Ministry Center or the Rectory, and during the week (evenings) in the Ministry Center, Rectory, or in parishioners’ homes. As much as we are able, the sign-up sheets will contain the meeting location, time, and how many spaces are available.

This year, parish small groups will be using the New Wine, New Wineskins: A Faith-Sharing Resource for Restructuring Parishes. This booklet was written for parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago as a lead-in to the Renew My Church process we will participate in this fall.  Each group will have a leader whose main job is to be sure the space and materials are available, and during the faith-sharing, to keep the conversation on track.

In his introductory letter to New Wine, New Wineskins, Cardinal Cupich writes, “As we seek to answer the call of Jesus Christ to make disciples, build communities and inspire witness our parishes need to have a solid foundation from which to grow.  It is my prayer that each parish will find ways to become more vibrant, sharing even more fully in Christ’s life-changing mission.”

Please consider this six-week Lenten commitment to grow your own faith and help St. Gertrude parish as together we strive to become better disciples of Jesus.

~ Father Rich


Fast & Abstinence Regulations

Ash Wednesday & Fridays During Lent

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years old and older on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent.

Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. 

Failure to observe individual days of penance is not considered serious, but failure to observe any 

penitential days at all or a substantial number of such days must be considered serious.

“(On) the weekdays of Lent, we strongly recommend participation in daily Mass and a self-imposed observance of fasting. In the light of grave human needs which weigh on the Christian conscience in all seasons, we urge, particularly during Lent, generosity to local, national, and world programs of sharing of all things needed to translate our duty to penance into a means of implementing the right of the poor to their part of our abundance.” 

~ U.S. Bishops statement on penitential observances, 1966 


Lenten Liturgy

Lenten Observances During Mass

During the Lenten season, just we strive to simplify our lives, we also strive to “unclutter” our liturgy, helping us focus. Each Mass during Lent the ministers process in as usual, then the Presider moves to a kneeler in front of the Lenten cross. Here he begins the Mass, provides a brief focus-statement and then invites us to kneel for the Kyrie, Eleison. Christe Eleison. Kyrie Eleison, (Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord, have mercy.), which we sing after the Cantor. This Penitential Rite during Lent encourages us to call to mind where we have been “missing the mark” and asking God’s mercy that we might have the strength to follow Him. 

There is no Glory to God during Lent, nor do we sing any Alleluias. These absences help us be aware that this is a Penitential season. After the first and second reading, we take slightly longer pauses to give us a brief time for reflection. The responsorial Psalm we sing is the same throughout Lent, “Let your mercy be on us, O Lord, as we place our trust in you.” After the second reading, we sing the Gospel Acclamation, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.”

After the homily and intercessions, we move into the eucharistic prayer.  During Lent, we make use of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation. These are the newest eucharistic prayers written and are beautiful both in their theology of reconciliation and in the poetry of their language.   

After the Eucharistic Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer and Communion, we again pause for a slightly extended period of silence for the post-Communion reflection.

On the fifth Sunday of Lent, we will have a very simple musical setting—with no piano and only “quieter” instruments leading our singing.