Ashes on Second Sunday of Lent!

Large congregations of Auckland Catholics are likely to finally receive their Ash Wednesday ashes on the second Sunday of Lent!

Auckland diocese spokeswoman Dame Lyndsay Freer said many of Auckland’s 189,000 Catholics had not received the ashes as they usually would on Ash Wednesday. This was because of the Covid alert level 3 then alert level 2 restrictions.

At level 2 only 100 people could gather and in Auckland the number was generally too restrictive.

The region has now moved to COVID alert level 1, enabling Catholic congregations to gather together again.

“Lent still began on Ash Wednesday, that 40-day period leading up to Easter did begin,” Freer said.

The day involves prayer and fasting, and services where priests apply ashes to believers’ foreheads. The ashes symbolise repentance and the dust from which Catholics – and many other Christians – believe God made people.

“Lent is a very special time in the life of the church, it’s one of the most important times in the annual calendar.

“It will be wonderful to be able to get back to normal.”

Even a short lockdown was a big deal for Catholics, Freer said. May Catholics attend at least one mass a week, while some attend every day.

Most of the other observances of Lent had gone ahead as usual, Freer said.


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