A packed St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta marked the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday Masses.
Masses were held on Wednesday at the Cathedral at 6.30am, 9.15am and 12.30pm.
Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, celebrated the 12.30pm Mass with parishioners, office workers, local residents and staff from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and the Diocese of Parramatta Chancery Office.
During his homily, Bishop Vincent reflected on the Lenten season and our call to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
“It is the season of Lent, the season of journey and renewal and transformation.
“Lent allows us to have a change of heart and a change of attitude.
“The focus of Lent is not about giving up certain things.
“As St Paul said, we are called to be ambassadors of Christ.”
Bernard Kirkpatrick, Director of Music at St Patrick’s Cathedral and cantor Ezra Kuhn lead the congregation in singing, chanting and music.
The ashes, remains from the previous year’s palms used during Palm, are blessed upon the forehead as a symbol of mourning and repentance for the start of the Lenten season.
As the ashes were imposed, congregants were told to “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
A final Ash Wednesday Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral with the Cathedral Choir tonight at 7.30pm.
View images from the Ash Wednesday Mass here or below.