Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at Ash Wednesday services on Wednesday, March 6, to begin the season of Lent, which is marked by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. All liturgies will include the blessing and distribution of ashes.
Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes the faithful’s dependence upon God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Bishop Soto will preside at an 8:30 a.m. Liturgy of the Word with distribution of ashes on the north steps of the state Capitol in downtown Sacramento. He will also preside at 12:10 p.m. Mass in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, located at 1017 11th St. Later in the day at 5:10 p.m., he will preside outside the John E. Moss Federal Building at 650 Capitol Ave. (corner of 7th and Capitol) at an outdoor service.
Bishop Soto has issued Lenten regulations for 2019 for the faithful of the Diocese of Sacramento. The bishop notes that “Lent is a season in which the faithful are called to reflect on the Paschal Mystery in a particularly focused way. It is a time of spiritual renewal and to carefully examine one’s relationship with God and others.”
To read the full text of the Lenten regulations in English and Spanish, visit https://www.scd.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/Lenten-regs-2019-Bilingual.pdf
A variety of resources to help Catholics observe Lent is provided online by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The resources include video reflections on Lenten themes, and a downloadable Lenten calendar with quotes from Pope Francis’ message for Lent. The website, www.usccb.org/lent also includes facts about saints whose feast days or memorials fall within Lent, a reflection on fasting, information on rediscovering the sacrament of penance, and a section on Holy Week observances.