-1Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at the 12:10 p.m Mass in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and two outdoor liturgies in downtown Sacramento on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, to begin the Lenten season, which is marked by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. All liturgies will include the blessing and distribution of ashes.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes the faithful’s dependence upon God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The bishop will preside at an 8:30 a.m. Liturgy of the Word with distribution of ashes on the West steps of the state Capitol building, located at 10th and L Streets. He will also preside at a 5 p.m. Liturgy of the Word and distribution of ashes outside the John E. Moss Federal Building at 650 Capitol Ave. (corner of 7th and Capitol). The cathedral is located at 1017 11thSt.

In his Lenten regulations for 2013, Bishop Soto notes that Lent prepares the faithful to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. “It is a time for reflection and spiritual renewal, a time to examine one’s relationships with God and with others,” he says.

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