FALL RIVER — Lent, the forty-day season of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving in preparation for the joyous celebration of Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year is February 22, 2023.

Parishes throughout the Fall River Diocese will mark the start of Lent with the traditional rite of distribution of ashes.

On Ash Wednesday, ashes -symbolic of penance- are blessed and distributed as a reminder that Lent is a time for repentance and spiritual renewal. Ashes are used to mark on the forehead of the faithful the Sign of the Cross, with the reminder: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” or “Remember you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will celebrate the 12 noon Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 327 Second St., Fall River.

The Church calls for days of abstinence and fasting during Lent:

  • Abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays during Lent and Good Friday for those aged 14 and older;
  • Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday for those aged 18 through 59. Fasting is defined as eating only one full meatless meal. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s needs.

Those who are not obliged to fast or abstain from meat are encouraged to join in those disciplines to the extent that they are able.

Catholics are urged to regard the Lenten season as a time to live with a greater focus on the Christian practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as means for spiritual renewal.

Anyone in need of a parish Ash Wednesday schedule should check the parish bulletin, website, or social media for the times of services.

Read Bishop da Cunha’s Message for Lent

Diocese of Fall River Secretariat for the New Evangelization
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River