Monday, February 28, 2011

Ash Wednesday - 15 Hours of Ashes

St. Benedict's

Return to the Lord!
Please join us at any time from 6:00 am right through 9:00 pm on Ash Wednesday, March 9th.

We have masses at 7 am, 8:15 am and 7pm.  There is a prayer service at 12 noon. We highly encourage your participation in our liturgies and prayer service. Ashes will be distributed during Mass and at the prayer service.

Additionally, between 6am and 9pm, we will also be distributing ashes to those who wish to turn back to the Lord.  Whether you have been away for one day, one year, or haven't set foot in a Catholic Church in decades, we invite you to receive ashes as a sign of repentance and continual conversion.  You are welcome here! And you are welcome to receive ashes at anytime between 6am and 9pm at St. Benedict's.

Ashes are a biblical sign of penance. Here are some Biblical verses mentioning ashes - Jeremiah 6:26, Isaiah 58:5, Daniel 9:3, Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:15. Ashes in the Catholic Church are the burnt remains of last year's palms used on Palm Sunday.  Ashes are placed on your forehead as a sign to others of your change of heart. You may hear either of these prayers as the minister puts ashes on your forehead: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return,"  OR "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."

At Mass on Ash Wednesday, we hear the prophet Joel exclaim "rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the LORD, your God."  Can you hear God's call within you?

Perhaps the most amazing result of keeping St. Benedict's Church open all day, as we have the past three years, is seeing the hundreds of people, from all walks of life, truly striving to reform their lives.  Three of our four priests (how blessed we are as a parish to have FOUR priests!) are kept busy all day hearing confessions of people who want a fresh spiritual start. [Say a prayer for our Pastor, Fr. Joseph Porpiglia, who is in Rome on sabbatical.]

Will you repent with us this year?  Don't worry if you forgot how to go to confession; we have information about the sacrament ready for you. 

Please invite all your friends and family members to join us Ash Wednesday. Directions are available under our Visitor tab on our website
We are here to be the welcoming hands of Christ. 
Return to the Lord!
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