Ash Wednesday

This year, the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (March.1, 2017) and continues until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (April 13, 2017) when the Sacred Paschal Triduum begins. The word “Lent” comes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word (lencten), the springtime in which the days grow longer and the land begins to thaw and burst forth with new life. It is a season in which the faithful continue to journey with the catechumens toward the celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery through the traditional Christian practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving/charity/mercy. It is a type of 40-day retreat during which the catechumens, with the aid of the Rite of Election and Scrutinies, by spiritual reflection, and the witness of the parish community, complete their preparation for the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation. Through prayer, fasting and acts of mercy, the faithful, are strengthened in the core habits of Christian living. By penance and reflection on God's Word, the Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the renewal of their baptismal promises on Easter Vigil. These Lenten practices call us to conversion of heart and give us the opportunity to form healthier relationships and the habits of daily Christian living.

To usher in the penitential season of Lent, we shall have our Ash Wednesday Rites on March 1 with Masses and the Imposition of Ashes at 6 AM, 7 PM and 8:15 PM. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from ages 18 to 59 to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal, eating only one full meal during the day. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age up to abstain from eating meat. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them.

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cbcp 2 diocese paranaquevatican