HARTFORD - The Archdiocese of Hartford is sponsoring two annual Lenten traditions: Lenten Confessions and Phone Fast Fridays, to help the faithful prepare for Easter.
For the sixth consecutive year, church doors and doors of confessionals will be open on Mondays. The archdiocese has put together a website: ConfessionMondays.com, which will list the times and locations of confessions for each parish in the archdiocese, which includes Bristol, Plainville, Plymouth and Southington.
Confession Mondays begin on Feb. 19.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair has recorded a Lenten message that can be seen on the website, and those who have been away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will be able to review what to do when going to confession.
“By going to confession we have the opportunity to examine our consciences with the help of divine grace, and then to hear the words of Jesus Himself through the voice of this priest: ‘I absolve you from your sins. Go in peace,’” Blair said.
The archdiocese is also bringing back its Phone Fast, which is a contemporary twist on the idea of fasting. Last year, the faithful were asked to abstain from using their cell phones on Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday. This year, the campaign has expanded to include all Fridays during Lent and is being called Phone Fast Fridays.
The motto of the campaign is: “Silencing our busy phones will give God a chance to call our hearts.”
“We are not saying that cell phones are bad. But, we are saying that they certainly consume a lot of our time - time that we could spend on prayer and reflection or making time for a neighbor that may need our help. That’s what Lent is about,” said Maria Zone, archdiocese director of communications.
Phone Fast Fridays should not take the place of the traditional Lenten disciplines that the Church observes during Lent, which are fasting from food, almsgiving and prayer. It should supplement these practices, according to a statement from the archdiocese.
The first Friday in Lent is this Friday, Feb. 16.