We may not think about it, but Lent is actually one of the more sensory-focused seasons of the liturgical year. During Lent, we intentionally remove extra decorations from the sanctuary. Some parishes will remove all flowers or banners. Others will create small desert-scapes with bare tree branches, rocks or empty pots. We do this so that our eyes will find minimal distractions as we gaze at the cross, or at the Host during the moment of consecration. The purple vestments and altar cloths also clue us in to the shift in mood.
In Lent the music changes. Many parishes will use a separate Mass setting (the Gospel Acclamation, Holy, Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen), typically in a minor key.
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