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Catholics Mark Ash Wednesday And Begins Season Of Lent

Catholics from other churches around the country also took part in the solemn religious observance. It marks the beginning of Lent that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Thursday, the memorial of the Lord’s supper the Thursday of Holy Week before Easter Sunday.
27 Feb 2020 13:12
Catholics Mark Ash Wednesday And Begins Season Of Lent
Archbishop Peter Loy Chong during the Ash Wednesday mass in Suva on February 26, 2020. Photo: Shreeya Verma

Many Catholics gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church in Suva yesterday to mark Ash Wednesday.

The Holy Mass was celebrated at 6.30 am, 9 am (children’s mass), 11.30 am, 1 pm and 5.30 pm.

Catholics from other churches around the country also took part in the solemn religious observance. It marks the beginning of Lent that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Thursday, the memorial of the Lord’s supper the Thursday of Holy Week before Easter Sunday.

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong said Ash Wednesday was known as the Lenten period.

“Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration,” he said.

Archbishop Chong said the 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him.

“We need to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and pray in faith,” he said.

He also said the biblical symbol of ashes placed on the foreheads of the faithful reminded us of our mortality and need for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Archdiocese of Suva catholic communications director John Pickering said ashes symbolised repentance.

“Ashes are equivalent to dust, and human flesh is composed of dust or clay (Genesis 2:7),” he quoted from the Bible.

Mr Pickering said there were three pillars of Lent namely; prayer, fasting and alms-giving.

“Which are means through which we are invited to return to the Lord, to repent of our old selves; habits and tendencies that place a huge strain on our relationship with each other and with God,” he said.

“We are invited to renew our lives in the spirit and to deepen our intimacy with the God who calls us, who beckons us and desires that we enter into a loving relationship with him.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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