Hundreds attend Ash Wednesday service in Arlington

ARLINGTON, Va.  –More than 200 worshipers filled the pews of the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington shortly after noon for Ash Wednesday Mass, March 1, 2017. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and the beginning of Lent, a 40-day penitential season leading to Easter Sunday.  It is a time of spiritual renewal in which worshipers turn their lives more completely over to Jesus Christ. 

During the homily, the celebrant, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, reminded the congregation of the importance of fasting, giving alms, and prayer during the Lenten season. “Pay attention to how you begin the day and end the day. Is it always with the Lord in prayer?” he said.  Following the homily, the congregation received ashes on their foreheads marked as a visible cross.  Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of burning the ashes from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of Christians, saying the words, ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return’.

-The Catholic Diocese of Arlington 

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