Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Ash Wednesday

The flowers are gone, the Cathedral is somewhat starker and darker this morning. Lent has begun. For 40 days the Church unites herself to Christ who spent the same period fasting and praying in the desert. For Him, it was a time of preparation for His public ministry; for us it helps us prepare for the feast of Easter. Throughout Lent the lights around the apse of the Cathedral will not be used, so that when Easter comes and everything is decorated and well lit, the effect will be all the more dramatic.

The lights on the tabernacle and the crucifix will remain; the absence of other lights in this area also serves to highlight the Lord's presence and the symbol of His suffering. A purple stole has been hung over the crucifix and the tabernacle is now veiled in purple. Mass today will be at 12:15pm and 7:30pm, with an extraordinary form Low Mass at 6pm. Ashes will be distributed at all Masses.