Ash Wednesday Mass begins Lenten season

Preparation is part of our celebration, Fr. Zahn says


Emily Abriani

In the first floor Kelly Hall teacher’s workroom, a box of purple ribbons is available for teachers to add to their classroom crucifixes.

Jenna Williams, Co-Editor

With the March 1 Ash Wednesday Mass symbolizing the beginning of the season of Lent, students and faculty are focusing on what this time means.
Reflecting on the significance of Lent, Fr. John Zahn said, “Any big celebrations we have, we prepare for. Whether it is a birthday party or Christmas, there is always preparation. Lent is our time to prepare for the celebration of Easter.”
In order to prepare, Lent is focused on developing three main actions: almsgiving, fasting and prayer.
These actions help to “bring us back into our faith and the reality of Jesus’ salvation,” as Mrs. Charlene Witka, director of campus ministry and co-moderator of Liturgy Committee, said. Witka continued, “Lent is an important part of our liturgical calendar, our liturgical year.”
Fr. Zahn repeated a similar sentiment and said, “It puts the emphasis on the feast of Easter, which is the most important feast of the year.”
While Lent will continue until Easter on April 16, Ash Wednesday is merely a single day. Fr. Zahn said, “Ash Wednesday marks a beginning. It reminds us that this life is not forever.”
Witka said, “Liturgy Committee helps prepare all the liturgies or prayer services for our all-school Masses and prayer services. What’s different about preparing for the Ash Wednesday Mass is that not only will we be distributing communion, we will also be distributing ashes to the whole school.”
Junior Lizzy Jensen is an active member of the Liturgy Committee. She said, “Lent is a time for me to appreciate what I have, and I can look forward to Easter, which is always a really happy event. We’re really lucky to be able to focus on what Ash Wednesday and Lent mean here.”
As the school reflects on this Lenten season, Witka asks that students try to recognize “the importance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, especially during the season of Lent, and how fortunate we are that we are at a Catholic school where we freely can express those practices.”