Ash Wednesday – First day of Lent

Mass Times : 7 am, 5 pm & 7 pm in Church

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer, fasting and repentance. … Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

In Jewish and Christian history, ashes are a sign of mortality and repentance.  Mortality, because when we die, our bodies eventually decompose and we become dust. Repentance, because long ago, when people felt remorse for something they did, they would put ashes on their head and wear “sackcloth” to remind them that sin is pretty uncomfortable and leads to a sort of death of the spirit. This was their way of asking for forgiveness.

The ashes come from the burning of the palms used on Palm Sunday of the previous year.

On Ash Wednesday, ashes are distributed during Mass, usually after the Homily.  All who are present are welcome to come forward, including the unbaptized (Catechumens) and those who are not yet Catholic (Candidates).