Christians begin 40-day Lenten journey with Ash Wednesday observances
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Thousands of Catholic and Protestant Christians will begin their 40-day Lenten journey on Wednesday as they gather for special Ash Wednesday services and Masses at churches across the Topeka area.
Some of the Masses are scheduled to start as early as 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, including at Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church, 2014 N.W 46th, which will also have an Ash Wednesday Mass at 6 p.m.
Other services were scheduled throughout the day and into the evening hours at other churches in the Topeka vicinity.
Many of the services will include prayers, Scripture readings and music.
Toward the end of the services, parishioners traditionally come forward for the imposition of ashes on their foreheads. The minister dips his or her thumb into ashes made of burned palm fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday services and makes the sign of a cross on the foreheads of the parishioners, accompanied by words such as “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
For many Christians, Lent is a season of increased prayer, fasting, repentance, almsgiving and Scripture reading.
The Lenten season is composed of the 40 days -- excluding Sundays -- leading to Easter, which this year will be observed on Sunday, April 9, in both Catholic and Protestant churches.
Orthodox Christians, meanwhile, will celebrate Easter this year on Sunday, April 16.
Among other area churches that will have Ash Wednesday services or Masses on Wednesday:
• Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 S.W. 25th, 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.
• Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Catholic Church, 6:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 227 S.W. Van Buren.
• Mater Dei Catholic Church, S.W. 10th Avenue and Clay, 8 a.m., noon and 5:30 p.m.
• Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Catholic Church, 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 312 N.E. Freeman.
• St. Matthew Catholic Church, 2700 S.E. Virginia, 8:05 a.m. and 6 p.m.
• Faith Lutheran Church, 1716 S.W. Gage Blvd., noon, 5 and 7 p.m.
• First Presbyterian Church, 817 S.W. Harrison, noon.
• Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 2021 S.W. 29th, noon and 7 p.m.
• Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th Ave., 12:10 p.m. and 7 p.m.
• Oakland United Methodist Church, 801 N.E. Chester Ave., 5 p.m.
• First United Methodist Church, 600 S.W. Topeka Blvd., 6 p.m.
• Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave., 6 p.m.
• Christ Lutheran Church, 3509 S.W. Burlingame Road, 7 p.m.
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