Ash Wed­nes­day opens Lent in Saratoga Springs

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Joseph Phe­lan jphe­

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.

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