- Gather together (unless on your own) and start with the Sign of the Cross.

- Read the Gospel for today. It is from St Matthew's Gospel, 6.1-6 and 16-18.

-Then say together this prayer: 'Lord God, with all our hearts we beseech you: have mercy on your people; spare your people; strengthen all people in the struggle against the havoc of this pandemic. Lord our God, without you we are so weak and our courage so limited. Give us your strength; give us your love; give us wisdom and skill to continue this fight. Spare your people, O Lord we pray. Comfort those who mourn and gather into your kingdom all who have died. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, who died and rose to life, who lives and reigns with you, for ever and ever. Amen.'

- Make the Sign of the Cross on each other's forehead, using the words you choose.
- Pray together: the Our Father; the Hail Mary; each one with his or her own prayer or intention.
- Conclude with the 'Glory be to the Father...'
- Give each other a sign of peace.

So Lent begins!

Cardinal Vincent Nichols