In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit – welcome to Lent!
Although today is St. Valentines' day and many people's thoughts turn to love and friendship, today is also Ash Wednesday where we remember the greatest love story ever.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday – the Easter Triduum. Lent is a time when we think again about who we are, who God calls us to be and wonder at the power of love to heal even death itself.
From Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent we ask forgiveness for our wrong-doings seeking healing and reconciliation before the Easter feast!
Today Catholics and people from many other Christian traditions are marked on the forehead with ashes, traditionally in the shape of a cross. The ashes symbolize death and sorrow for sin. These ashes are made by burning Palm leaves from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations. Ashes remind us that we are all broken people and we need God in our lives.
Dear loving God,
As we begin the season of Lent keep us strong on our journey of fasting, alms giving and prayer. Help us to renew our commitment towards living with our hearts full of Jesus Christ. May this season bring us the blessings of Your forgiveness and the gift of your love. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.