Hundreds of Masses were celebrated throughout the Diocese of Raleigh on Ash Wednesday as Catholics began the 2013 Lenten season. During the Mass, the faithful receive ash on their foreheads in the sign of the Cross, a sign of our mortality and a symbol of penance and continuing conversion.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated noon Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral for a standing room only gathering. Rev. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese, and Fr. Robert Schreiber, Vice Rector of the Cathedral, concelebrated.
In his homily, the Bishop spoke of the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. “The Lord and His Church,” Bishop Burbidge said, “call us to embrace age-old spiritual disciplines that, with God’s grace and our perseverance, will lead to a radical transformation and bring us new life.”
In addition to practicing the three disciplines, the Bishop encouraged the faithful to make this a fruitful Lent by partaking in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, praying the Rosary and participating in the weekly Stations of the Cross at their parish.
Read the Bishop’s homily
Watch the Bishop’s homily
On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are asked to fast, with guidelines allowing for one full meal a day. Catholics age 14 and older are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. (See Norms and Guidelines for the Season of Lent, the Easter Triduum and the Season of Easter (PDF).)
The Triduum begins the evening of Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Last Supper and ends the evening of Easter Day. This year, Easter will be observed March 31. The Diocesan Chrism Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., March 26 at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Apex.
Click photos below to view larger.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass, concelebrated by Fr. Robert Schreiber and Msgr. David D. Brockman.
Below: Faithful attending Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral