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Ash Wednesday, The Season of Lent

Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The Alleluia is not used from the beginning of Lent until the Easter; instead any of the following is said:

  • Praise to You, O Chirst, king of eternal glory!
  • Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
  • Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
  • Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
  • Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

Churches are not usually decorated with bouquets or flowers. Clapping of hands are avoided.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence. During the Mass on Ash Wednesday, the priest blesses the ashes after the homily. Then, the priest, distribute the ashes to the community by marking a cross on the forehead of the faithfuls, saying to each: Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel. Lay ministers, deacons, nuns may assist the priest in giving the ashes.

The following are not said during the Ash Wednesday Mass:

  • Penitential Rite
  • The Gloria
  • Alleluia
  • The Profession of Faith (Creed)

The Gospel Today

Teaching About Almsgiving

1[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

2When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Teaching about Prayer

5When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Teaching About Fasting

16When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

Psalms & Readings

First Reading, Prophecy of Joel 2:12-18
Second Reading, Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 5:20–6;2
Psalms 50

Latin Word of the Day

pæniténtiam, latin; repentance, english; pagsisisi, tagalog