The Convent and Stuart Hall high school community gathered in The Dungeon for an Ash Wednesday service this morning.
Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of the Catholic liturgical season of Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter.
“Lent is important because it gives us an opportunity to stop, find ways that perhaps we aren’t living out our Christian mission and make a concentrated effort within the next forty days to work on the one aspect of our life,” celebrant Eddy Gutierrez said.
Traditionally something is given up during Lent as a way of self-improvement, a concept touched upon in today’s service.
“As a child I gave things up for Lent,” junior Mary Crawford said. “I hadn’t thought about it this year but maybe I will.”
Drawn in the shape of a cross on participants’ foreheads, the ashes typically come from the burning the palms from the last year’s Palm Sunday, although today’s ashes came from the burnt slips of paper with the community’s Lenten commitments from last year.
Other than the ashes, the service was traditional, according to Gutierrez. There were first and second readings, a Gospel, the distribution of ashes and a reflection from senior Gia Monachino.
“It was nice how quick and to the point it was,” junior Kelly Rosanelli said. “It was very clear on what the meaning of Ash Wednesday was and whether or not you were Catholic you could understand the importance of this event.”