Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 22nd is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season: “On the Wednesday before the First Sunday of Lent, the faithful receive the ashes, thus entering into the time established for the purification of their souls. This sign of penance, a traditionally biblical one, has been preserved among the Church’s customs until the present day. It signifies the human condition of the sinner, who seeks to express their guilt before the Lord in an exterior manner, and by so doing express their interior conversion, led on by the confident hope that the Lord will be merciful. This same sign marks the beginning of conversion, which is developed through the celebration of the sacraments of penance during the days before Easter’. Ash Wednesday is to be observed as a day of penance in the Church, one of both abstinence and fasting.

During Lent, the altar should not be decorated with flowers and likewise, from the ‘beginning of Lent until the Paschal Vigil, ‘Alleluia’ is to be omitted in all celebrations, even on solemnities and feasts.”