Ash Wednesday

Starts: Wednesday, February 22nd 2023 at 10:00 am
Ends: Wednesday, February 22nd 2023 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, 22nd February, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Masses at 10am and 7.30pm. Ashes will be distributed during each Mass.

Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a movable feast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter (this year Easter Sunday falls on 9th April). Ash Wednesday can occur as early as February 4th or as late as March 10th.

According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this forty day liturgical period of prayer and fasting.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned.

The priest says one or both of the following when applying the ashes: Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return (Genesis 3:19). Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel (Mark:1:15).

Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. The Church emphasizes the penitential nature of Ash Wednesday by calling us to fast and abstain from meat. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. Catholics who are over the age of 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Ash Wednesday.