LEWISTON — A special Lenten evening for Maine Catholics is set for the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in Lewiston on Friday, March 5.

Fr. Bob Vaillancourt will preside at a Taizé prayer service, Mass, and presentation of the Stations of the Cross that will be offered both in person and via livestream (information below). Stations of the Cross will begin at 5 p.m., followed by Mass at 5:30 p.m., and a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Fr. Vaillancourt, a native of Lewiston, is the current pastor of St. Brendan the Navigator Parish (Our Lady of Good Hope Church, Camden; St. Bernard Church, Rockland; St. Francis of Assisi Church, Belfast).

Originating in a community of Catholic and Protestant brothers in the 1940’s in Taizé, France, Taizé prayer is most notable for its meditative chanting. Short, repeated songs give it a meditative character and express a basic reality of faith. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God. It allows everyone to take part in a time of prayer together and to dwell deeply on Christ’s presence around and within us. Mantra songs (like “Jesus, Remember Me”), prayerful silence, and short readings guide the focus of Taizé services, which are generally conducted in the evening in the glow of candlelight, allowing all to rest in the Lord as the day draws to a close. 

To register to attend the gathering on March 5, visit www.princeofpeace.me or call Prince of Peace Parish at 207-777-1200. The event will also be livestreamed at princeofpeace.me, the parish Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PrinceOfPeaceME), and the parish YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkgnGjIZqdxEKC7NMk4I1A?view_as=subscriber).

The Diocese of Portland has a special Lent web section (www.portlanddiocese.org/lent-resources) featuring a variety of resources to assist you on your Lenten journey. In the section, you can find Mass times; Holy Week information; Scripture study and other faith-enriching offerings at parishes, both in-person and livestreamed; virtual and in-person retreat and parish mission opportunities; a schedule of Lenten meals; confession opportunities; Stations of the Cross schedules; “Echoing God’s Word in the Catholic Community”; “Saints of Lent”; Lectio Divina in English and Spanish; a “Sharing Our Gifts” section providing outlets for charitable giving; messages from Pope Francis and more. The section will be updated throughout Lent with updates and additional events as they are confirmed.