Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 5.
Ash Wednesday Schedule
8:00 am Mass with distribution of Ashes
12:00 pm Word Service with distribution of Ashes
6:00 pm Mass with distribution of Ashes
is not a Holy Day of Obligation but it marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. The imposition of ashes is an ancient penitential practice symbolizing our dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness. It is a day of Fast and Abstinence
: Catholics who are 18 years and older and in good health are bound until their 59th birthday by the obligation to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This is understood as eating only one full meal a day.
: In the U.S., this penitential practice consists of refraining from the consumption of meat (beef, chicken, pork). Catholics who have celebrated their 14th birthday and older are bound to this penitential obligation. It is practiced on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent. Parents are encouraged to see that children who are not bound by this obligation are led to appreciate the authentic sense of penance.
During Lent we are called by the Gospel teaching (Matthew 6) to Pray, Fast and Give Alms to those in need.