SCHEDULE FOR ASH WEDNESDAY / FEBRUARY 10th:
Mass and distribution of ashes at
6:30AM, 9:00AM, 12:00PM, and 7:30PM.
Prayer Service and distribution of ashes
at 4:00PM (no Mass).
ASH WEDNESDAY is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, fasting, and prayer which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on EASTER SUNDAY. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Alternatively, the priest may speak the words, "Repent and believe in the Gospel." Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. The ashes are made from blessed palm branches from the previous year's Palm Sunday Mass.
It is important to remember that Ash Wednesday is a day of penitential prayer and fasting. It is generally inappropriate to dine out, to shop, or to go about in public after receiving the ashes. Feasting is highly inappropriate. Small children, the elderly and sick are exempt from this observance. Catholics should receive ashes within the context of Mass if possible. In some cases, ashes may be delivered by a priest or a family member to those who are sick or shut-in.