Ash Wednesday Ushers in Lenten Season - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Ash Wednesday Ushers in Lenten Season

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Christians in Erie and around the world are observing Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season.  The day ushers in a season of penitence, prayer and fasting.

"It reminds us that we're all sinners and hopefully gives us a time to reflect on that and wait for the glorious morning of Easter when Christ arose from the dead," said Dr. Forrest Mischler.

Mischler was among those marking Ash Wednesday in the newly restored Saint Patrick Church. The stations of the cross in the church are now so vivid, and well-lighted, Msgr. Henry Kriegel told parishioners, "you can see their tears."

"It's just a beautiful day for me," said worshipper Kathleen Wehan, "kind of like a new start."  Bishop Lawrence Persico agreed, "It's a wake up call you might say and it reminds us that we need to reconnect to Jesus Christ and have time in prayer and Lent affords us that."

The new Bishop of the Erie Diocese was imposing ashes and leading prayers in a much simpler setting, the prayer chapel at the Millcreek Mall. In just two the first two hours there nearly one hundred people took advantage of the convenient location.

If you've ever wondered  if followers of Christ are supposed to be humble why the church considers this outward display of piety as acceptable,  Bishop Persico had this explanation.

"What Christ was critical of the scribes and Pharisees for was that they wanted the recognition of the people," said Bishop Persico.  "I really think when people do this on Ash Wednesday, there is a sincerity there, they want to do something right by God and for themselves."

This year for the faithful the season of prayer and reflection lasts until Easter Sunday March 31.

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