According to gospel tradition, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry. It was during this time he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer and fasting in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on ones' forehead as a sign of repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. This practice is common among many Christians, being celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptist denominations.
Here at Mercy College, Campus Ministry will offer three Ash Wednesday services on February 13, 2013 in the Brennan Chapel.
At 8:15 am, Mass and the distribution of Ashes will be celebrated. Though Mass is the central act of worship for Catholics, students, faculty and staff from all faith backgrounds are welcome. This mass consists of prayers, scripture readings, distribution of Ashes, commemoration of the Last Supper and reception of Holy Communion.
At 12:15 pm, an Ecumenical scripture service and distribution of Ashes will be celebrated. This service will include prayers, readings from both the Old and New Testaments prior to the distribution of Ashes. Again, all are welcome.
Between 4:15 and 5:00 pm, anyone wishing to receive Ashes is invited to stop by the Chapel. There will not be a formal prayer service but the chapel will remain open for private prayer and meditation.