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February 15, 2007


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate Mass and distribute ashes on:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
12:05 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of Lent for Christians throughout the world. Lent is the penitential season of prayer and sacrifice from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday, in preparation for Easter. Catholics throughout the Archdiocese will visit their parish churches to receive the blessed ashes, which are marked in the sign of a cross on the foreheads of the faithful. The symbolic ashes remind the faithful of their mortality.

In the chapel adjacent to the Cathedral, distribution of ashes will take place after the homily during the following Masses: 7:15 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

The Bishops of the United States prescribe, as minimal obligation, that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. Further, all persons eighteen years of age and older, up to and including their fifty-ninth birthday, are bound to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, while the other two meals on those days are to be light.

All the faithful are encouraged, when possible, to participate at Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist daily, to celebrate frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of the Sacred Scriptures, and to participate in parish Lenten devotions as well as Lenten education programs. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is especially recommended.

All are encouraged to participate in "Operation Rice Bowl," which has aided countless hungry persons here in the Archdiocese as well as throughout our nation and our world.

Editor's Note: Television cameras will not be permitted in the Cathedral. An audio and video mult-box feed will be provided in the parking lot of the Cathedral. Please enter on 17th Street, between Race and Vine Streets. Crews will need a bnc connector and a recording deck or a live truck. Reporters and still photographers are welcome in the Cathedral.

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Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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