On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. It marks 40 days before the celebration of Easter. Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season is a time for contemplating one's transgressions.
Ash Wednesday Mass Times
9:00 AM St. Peter's
Noon St. Mary's
7:00 PM Both Parishes
According to the Catholic law of abstinence, every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent. Every person between the age of 18 and 59 (beginning of 60th year) must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants. For the reception of ashes, the priest says, "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return" or "Repent and believe in the Gospel."