This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the holy season of Lent. Sadly we will be celebrating Lent again this year under difficult circumstances which put restrictions on our ability to gather in Church, however we can still make the most of this season to receive God’s mercy and grow closer to God.
Bishop Toal will offer Holy Mass on Ash Wednesday at 10.00am in St Gerard’s and you are encouraged to join virtually in prayer as we begin Lent.
A short liturgy of prayers have also been produced for you to use at home on Ash Wednesday. These can be downloaded from our website.
Some parishes will be making ashes available for people to collect and others are encouraging parishioners to safely burn a blessed palm leaf from last year to make your own ashes. For most however we will be unable to receive ashes this year, however we are reminded that the ashes we wear are an exterior sign of an interior desire to conversion and to grow stronger in faith and closer to God, to ‘turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel’. That is something that we are still able to do this lent by practising the lenten observances of praying, fasting and almsgiving in order to celebrate worthily the Lord's paschal mystery at Easter.
A short liturgy which has been designed by the Bishops' Conference for use by for individuals or family groups to celebrate Ash Wednesday (This text anticipates that they will have access to a sachet of ash or can burn a palm from last year.)
a short form of the Stations of the Cross for use at home during Lent