Ash Wednesday opens Lent in Saratoga Springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » The congregation at The Church of Saint Peter gathered Wednesday morning, receiving ashes to begin the holy season of Lent.
Catholics across the world fast on Ash Wednesday and on Friday’s throughout the 40 days of Lent.
The Rev. Thomas Chevalier, during his homily, explained how comparable Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are to each other.
“For St. Valentine’s Day reminds us to be [aware] for those in this world who love us and for who we love. St. Valentine’s Day encourages us perhaps with flowers or a card or candy to demonstrate that love, that it not be forgotten or taking away,” said Chevalier. “I think similarly Ash Wednesday reminds all of us of that great and glorious God who created us and redeemed us and always loved us. And then it encourages us to demonstrate in some small way our love in return, for that love may never be taken for granted and always appreciated.”
Catholics receive ashes, which are made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday (which falls a week before Easter Sunday).
Chevalier said on Valentine’s Day people wear their heats on their sleeves, but on Ash Wednesday members of the Catholic church wears their hearts on their foreheads.
Shortly before the distribution of the ashes, Chevalier offered words of remembrance to the congregation.
“Let all of us who receive them and share them commit ourselves not only today and not even for the 40 days ahead but for our lives even beyond that to demonstrate to ourselves and to our God a great love for which we are all appreciative,” said Chevalier.
The Lenten period ends on Easter Sunday, April 1.
The Rev. Thomas Chevalier distributed ashes Wednesday morning at The Church of Saint Peter in Saratoga Springs.
Deacon Edward Solomon gives out ashes Wednesday to begin the 40-day Lenten season.
Ashes are distributed to parishioners Wednesday morning.