By Campus Minister Felicia Viscusi

Communion Minister gives ashes to a parishioner in a form of a Cross on his forehead at St. Ignatius Church on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. JOHN RAGAI/FLICKR VIA CC BY 2.0

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten Season in the Catholic Church. The liturgical season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  It is a time to prepare for the suffering and death of Christ on Good Friday and for His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The observance of this day involves receiving ashes in the shape of a cross on one’s forehead. The ashes are a reminder to ourselves that we are sinners in need of repentance from God, our merciful Father. The shape of the cross reminds us that we belong to Christ, and that He shares in our suffering through His suffering on the cross. The words heard upon receiving ashes, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel,” are a reminder for us of these truths.

Ashes will be distributed on campus throughout the day on Ash Wednesday, March 6. There will be short (5 minute) services celebrated at 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m., and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Mass will be celebrated at noon. Mass and all services will take place in the Interfaith Chapel, found on the fifth floor of the Melville Library in room N5560.