Arts&Culture

Joint Ash Wednesday service planned

Joint Ash Wednesday service planned

Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass on February 14 at noon (12 p.m.) at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., in downtown Los Angeles. Several Catholic schools in Wichita followed this model, celebrating Valentine's Day early.

Although Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation for Catholics (a day when they're obligated to attend Mass) many begin Lent by attending church and getting the sign of the cross smudged on their foreheads with ashes. It gives parishes the opportunity to outreach to possible new members as they go about their hectic day, which includes people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Jesus spent 40 days in prayer and fasting to prepare for his role as the savior, according to the Bible's Book of Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 4-11. We eat less so the hungry can have more.

Ash Wednesday is one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, with ashes meant to symbolize mortality and encouraging introspection at the beginning of Lent.

Christians will face a similar holiday overlap again in a few weeks' time, when April Fool's Day and Easter both fall on April 1.

Degiandira Escobedo, a senior accounting major at Texas Woman's University in Denton, likes how Wesleyan is having service for students and thinks it would be a good idea for Texas Woman's to do the same and hold an Ash Wednesday service on campus.

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During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days.

Ash Wednesday services often involve blessing ashes made from burning the palm fronds from the previous year's Palm Sunday, and spreading them on the foreheads of the faithful.

"Valentine's Day is all about love, and the beginning of Lent also is about God expressing his sacrificial love for us", May said. Many people give up certain foods and activities in observance of Lent and this is especially done on Ash Wednesday.

During the season of Lent, the Student Catholic Association will have other religious opportunities for students.

"Maybe we'll even take a selfie with ashes on our head", Thomas said. That is why there is an emphasis on fish fry dinners this time of year.


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