Ash Wednesday Schedule

Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 22 this year. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and is a day of fasting and abstinence. To learn more about Lent and the Catholic disciplines of fasting and abstinence on penitential days, click here, or read the short summary below.

Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, so there is no requirement to attend Mass that day (though of course it’s to do so!). There is a long tradition of beginning the penitential season of Lent by receiving blessed ashes on your head. Ashes are a reminder of our mortality and have been used as a sign of penance since ancient times. The ashes imposed on Ash Wednesday are blessed, and are usually made by burning the palm fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration.

We will have Mass on campus during which blessed ashes will be imposed, but will also be imposing ashes after our usual Wednesday night fellowship dinner, as well as during the afternoon on the UC Lawn.

  • 1:00 PM: Mass with imposition of blessed ashes.
  • 3-5:00 PM: Ashes will be imposed on the UC Lawn in short liturgies approximately every 20 minutes.
  • 6:00 PM: Dinner
  • 7:00 PM: Program: What is Ash Wednesday?
  • 7:30 PM: Liturgy of the Word with imposition of blessed ashes.
  • 8:00 PM: Holy Hour of Adoration & Evening Prayer

Fasting & Abstinence

The norm for fasting is to limit yourself to one meal, but does not preclude taking additional food if needed to sustain strength, provided it does not equal a second meal. The law of fasting binds those between the ages of 18-59. Those with health concerns are not required to fast. The only mandatory days of fasting are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Abstinence means abstaining from flesh meat. Fish is permitted, as are broths and sauces made from meat stock. Catholics over the age of 14 are required to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent.