01 March 2017

Ash Wednesday Mass marks the beginning of Lent

At the Holy Sepulcher, the Ash Wednesday Mass was celebrated by Father Fergus Clarke and concelebrated by the Franciscans, custodians of the shrines of the land of Jesus.


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In Jerusalem, on this Ash Wednesday, Father Fergus Clarke presided over the Eucharistic Celebration in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Mass, concelebrated by the Franciscans, custodians of the shrines of the land of Jesus, was held in the place where, according to tradition, Christ was buried and rose again!

The Mass was an expression of the faith of the people, who, by receiving the imposition of ashes, testified to their longing to the conversion and recalled that "We came from dust and to dust we will return."

During the homily, Father Fergus compared Christians who are preparing for Easter to an athlete training to participate in the Olympic Games.

Coordinator of the Singers of the Holy Sepulcher
"I wanted to emphasize the aspect that concerns the worship of God through our body. By abstaining from certain foods, or by avoiding food for a certain period during Lent, we can say to God, despite the fact that food is essential to our lives: "God, You are more important than our own lives."

Celebrating Lent in the Holy Land, where we can see and even touch the places where Jesus lived his passion, death and resurrection, has a special significance.

Guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Sepulcher
"All the friars, the priests and the religious believe that coming here during Lent is very special, because everyone is waiting for this day of the resurrection of Christ after forty days, after this very special time of intensive prayer. Every Saturday evening we gather here with all the priests, students and the religious for a night vigil.”

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Coordinator of the Singers of the Holy Sepulcher
“We are certainly privileged to be able to walk in the footsteps of Jesus here, in the Holy Land. We have special ceremonies planned for Lent that emphasize these events and that will help us get in touch with the fact that God became man for us in this land, suffered and died for us in this land, that we might be free from sin and death.”