Lent isn't only a Catholic observance, as several area Protestant ministers will attest.
The ash on Ash Wednesday which is applied on foreheads of the congregation is obtained from the burnt leaves of palms gathered on Palm Sunday. It will include a short meditation by the Rev. Joseph Hedden.
The Rev. José H. Gomez, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at noon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Nakamura-Rengers is vicar and founder of The Abbey, an Episcopal Church-sponsored coffee shop in Avondale that will be offering imposition of the ashes from 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. "For us, it is a penitential time for self-examination. Abstinence also means to not eat meat on those days". So during the season of Lent, it is a good thing for us to pull back from our indulgences and our distractions, to deny ourselves a bit, and to make time to ponder this unbelievable miracle of the ages and how it impacts us. "It's quieter", he said.
Over the centuries, the practice of fasting for Lent has turned into, "Giving up something". This is the first time the Lenten calendar has played out this way since 1945.
"What matters is our spirit and what's inside of us", said Father Girotti.
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For some Protestants, Lent is not only a time to give something up.
"The answer is that Ash Wednesday has precedence, and the coincidence of St. Valentine's Day would not lift for us the duty of fasting and self-denial", Dolan said on his blog. That may be volunteering, praying more or eating healthier, for example. At the New Year we often promise ourselves that THIS is the year that we are going to finish that project, earn that degree or make a career change. This seems incompatible with the heavy, repentance-focused holiday of Ash Wednesday. We asked the Harrisburg diocese if such a dispensation might be given for the celebration of Saint Valentine's Day that many couples may have planned. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent.What are the fasting traditions and what is Cheesefare week?
The goal of Lent is to prepare the believer for Easter through prayer, by doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repenting of one's sins, alms-giving, and self-denial.