UIW Community Gathers to Observe Ash Wednesday

February 24, 2023

Fr. Hector puts ashes on student's forehead

For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of the Incarnate Word community was able to come together at full capacity to observe Ash Wednesday side by side. UIW Mission and Ministry offered several worship opportunities throughout the day, celebrating two English Masses, one Spanish Mass, and one Ecumenical Service.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40-day Lenten season, a prayerful time of fasting and almsgiving in the Catholic Church. Lent is observed in the weeks leading up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, preparing hearts and minds to gratefully celebrate Easter Sunday.

In addition to receiving ashes during Mass, attendees were encouraged to spend the season of Lent considering how they can show God’s love in the world and care for those in need. They were also challenged to reflect on anything in their lives that may be interfering with their relationship with Christ, and to work on letting go of those things as part of their fasting efforts.

“Lent calls us to spend the next 40 days reflecting on our lives – past and current – through prayer, fasting and almsgiving,” shared Beth Villareal, director of Campus Ministry, in an Ash Wednesday reflection. “These actions draw us through a process of dying to ourselves – shedding those things that keep us from being fully united with others – our families, community, the world – and God. By dying to ourselves, we too can resurrect through the healing love of Jesus Christ. Lent reminds us that new life can come from death, that death does not have the final word.”

Find upcoming worship opportunities to observe Lent with the UIW community here