On March 2nd, we will begin Lent on Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, a day of fasting, abstinence and prayer. We will celebrate distribution of Ashes at 8am and 12 noon Masses and 4pm and 8pm Services of the Word in the Church. Typically in the United States, we have received ashes on our foreheads in the sign of the cross. However, instead of marking our foreheads, we will have ashes sprinkled on our heads, this is what we did last year. This is what they do in Rome, and throughout Europe and many other countries around the world. The priest or deacon will say the formula once over the whole congregation then people will come forward and with a slight bow to the minister, ashes will be sprinkled on each person’s head in silence.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Roman Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Roman Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
For now, we continue our walk with the Lord.