Wednesday, February 10th
Ash Wednesday begins the liturgical season of Lent, which formerly began with the First Sunday and comprised only thirty-six days. The addition of Wednesday and the three following days brought the number to forty, which is that of our Lord’s fast in the desert. In the Old Law ashes were generally a symbolic expression of grief, mourning, or repentance. In the early Church the use of ashes formed part of the public penances. The blessing and imposition of ashes was originally instituted for public penitents, but is now intended for all Christians, as Lent should be a time of penance for all.
The imposition of ashes will take place in the lower church (shrine) at the scheduled Masses 11:30 am and at 6:00 pm. All are welcome to receive ashes (whether Catholic or not), but only practicing Catholics in the state of grace are permitted to receive Holy Communion at Mass.