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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Mario Tama Getty Images News People: Richard Marrano
Mario Tama Getty Images News People: Richard Marrano
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Vote: Survey says few New Jersey residents attend church

Today is one of those days out of the year when PACE Catholics all over the state attend services to receive ashes – signaling the beginning of the Lenten season.

(PACE is the acronym for Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Christmas, and Easter – days in which those who don’t normally attend mass feel as though they have to go!)

However, while today is not what we learned in Catholic school as a “holy day of obligation,” it’s still a day to commemorate the belief that we are mere mortals – here for only a short while and “unto dust we shall return

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Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday mass at the Santa Sabina Basilica, in Rome, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, pool)
Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday mass at the Santa Sabina Basilica, in Rome, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, pool)
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Pope Francis leads Ash Wednesday procession between Rome churches

ROME (AP) -- Pope Francis walked in a solemn Ash Wednesday procession between churches on Rome's ancient Aventine Hill, calling on people to humbly remember their human limits as faithful began their annual penitential Lenten period.

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Andrew Burton Collection: Getty Images News
Andrew Burton Collection: Getty Images News
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Are You a PACE Catholic? [POLL]

Folks flocking to church won’t be an unusual sight today.

Why?

Because today marks the beginning of the Lenten season – the 40 days period of fasting and abstinence preceding Easter.

Technically it’s not a “holy day of obligation,” but for some reason Catholics in particular and Christians in general feel obligated to go to church and receive ashes – even if they don’t practice their religion on a regular basis

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What Will you Give up for Lent?
John Moore/Getty images
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What Will You Give Up for Lent?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar, directly following Shrove Tuesday. Occurring 46 days before Easter, it is a moveable feast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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Ash Wednesday – Another Grain of Sand in the Hourglass of Life.

My mom used to say, "....oh my God, I can't believe Ash Wednesday is here already. Pretty soon Easter. Oh, and by the way, did you get your ashes?"

And while there was no obligation to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, it's still one of the days that "PACE" Catholics feel they MUST attend Mass

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Category: Opinion Tags: ,

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