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Ash Wednesday Schedule | Feb. 17

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on Feb. 17, 2021. We will have multiple opportunities for people to receive blessed ashes both on campus and at St. Mary’s parish.

In accordance with directives issued this year by the Vatican, in light of Covid-19 concerns, ashes will be imposed in a contact-free manner by sprinkling them on the crown of the penitent’s head rather than by placing them in the form of a cross on the forehead as many are used to. The sprinkling of ashes upon the crown of the head is an old tradition, still practiced in Rome.

To further accommodate those wishing to receive ashes as safely as possible, we will be celebrating short liturgies outdoors on the UC Lawn every half hour from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. Face masks and social distancing will be required at all liturgies. Our full schedule is posted below.

Ashes have been used as a sign of penance since Biblical times. Lent is a season of penance for the entire Church, so it is customary for the Church to publicly embark upon this season communally by receiving blessed ashes, traditionally made by burning the palms used in last year’s Palm Sunday celebration.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence.

  • The law of fasting binds Catholics age 18-59. It allows for one meal per day, but does not preclude taking additional food if needed, as long as it does not equal an additional meal. Water and medication do not break the fast. Those with medical concerns are not bound to fast.
  • Abstinence means abstaining from flesh meat (fish is OK) and is binding upon Catholics age 14 and up.

Every Friday during Lent is a day of abstinence. Good Friday is also a day of fasting. The faithful are encouraged to take on additional voluntary penances including fasting, prayer, and works of charity. The purpose of our Lenten penance is to help us turn our hearts and minds back to God in a renewed manner.

Campus Schedule for Ash Wednesday

  • 12:15 PM | Mass in the chapel (limit 12 people)
  • 2:00-5:00 PM | A brief liturgy with imposition of ashes will be offered every 30 minutes on the UC Lawn
  • 7:30 PM | Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Ashes in the chapel (limit 12 people)
  • 8:00-9:00 PM | Holy Hour of Adoration and Evening Prayer

St. Mary’s Schedule for Ash Wednesday

  • 7:00 AM | Mass
  • 12:00 PM | Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Ashes
  • 5:30 PM | Confession
  • 6:30 PM | Mass (Spanish)