Your Ash Wednesday Sermon Notes

Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, as every Sunday is. However, many people go to Mass for the beginning of Lent.

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for Ash Wednesday?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Your Ash Wednesday Sermon Notes

  1. Mandy P. says:

    The homily was a little shorter than normal, but Father focused on our mortality and need for repentance and conversion. He even lamented that most priests and ministers that distribut ashes now no longer say, “Remember from dust you came and to dust you will return.” Said he thought that it was a reminder we all need more regularly.

    I will say I was pleasantly surprised that the vast majority of the congregation stayed after the distribution of ashes for the rest of the liturgy. I didn’t notice anyone heading for the door after they recieved the ashes, which is a change from previous years. I usually go at the noon hour and many people beat feet to get to the door, although I assume that most people who leave early at that hour are going back to work. But as I said, most folks stayed this year and considering it was probably a lot of folks’ lunch hour that was very heartening.

  2. andia says:

    The priest ( Jesuit) told us to celebrate Lent by being kinder to each other and offered the Corporal Works of Mercy as a way to live out that kindness.

  3. frival says:

    I had the opportunity to assist at Mass with my childrens’ school (the very fine Holy Family Academy, of which I cannot say enough positive things). Father reminded us that our Lenten penance is intended to increase our love of God and through that our love of neighbor, not just to make ourselves (and, hint, nudge, those around us) miserable. He pointed out that if we are not growing in love of God then we likely have to examine what we are doing and why we are doing it.

    He also challenged everyone to wear their ashes all day rather than wiping them off the minute they walk out the door. We are not to do this in a showy manner but as a reminder of who, and what, we are – and simultaneously because you just never know when someone who has walked away from the Church might see the ashes and be reminded of what they’re missing. Sometimes we can be evangelists without even trying.

  4. Gratias says:

    Father said that the aim is for our souls to be in better shape by the end of lent.

  5. catholictrad says:

    What the U.S. Army calls “inclement weather” prevented me from my usual Traditional diocesan parish, so I attended the Novus Ordo parish on base at the shared “chapel”.

    Luckily, many of the daily Novus Ordo Mass-goers on base are Sunday TLM-goers and have deeply affected practice on base. The altar rail put in for the protestants is now being used by Catholics! The lowsy OCP hymnal is gone and in its place is the “St. Michael Hymnal”! There were no girls serving the altar! The Sanctus and Agnus Dei were in Latin! The organ is the only music…no guitars, drums, tamborines, etc.

    Oh, and regarding the sermon, Father began with and repeated over and over the first word of John the Baptist and Jesus’ ministries, “REPENT!” Quit trying to get “clean” or “perfect” under you own steam. You can’t do it alone. Pray to Jesus for cleansing faith through the sacraments.

    I’m not tempted to leave my Traditional home, but praise God there is an acceptable Novus Ordo!

  6. AngelGuarded says:

    As part of our penance, I suppose, our retired priest, who is a “young” 70-something liberal, said evening Mass and used the word “hell” six times… but not the place Hell where you could end up, oh no, he used it as a profanity. Repeating his father’s phrase, “hell, you can do better…” I forgot his point. I want to tell our wonderful new young Pastor, “h–l, you can do better,” but young Pastor is so overworked with the large parish and school, I dare not aggrieve him. So we suffer this priest’s ad-libbed Masses, having confidence that his Holy Orders still allow for proper consecration, even if he adds and subtracts from the rubrics. Btw, we avoid his Masses like the plague but were unable to yesterday because of work. St Michael pray for us!

  7. Mike says:

    Pride is our besetting vice. To combat pride, the Church gives us Lent so that we may intensify our salutary practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

    A good “meat and potatoes” Oratorian sermon, even if it was a day of abstinence. 8^)

  8. timfout says:

    This was the 7 Pm Choral High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Father gave a very good sermon on avoiding the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. We should wear our ashes as a sign of repentance not as a sign of our superiority in religious observance. He made several other good points as well, but alas, I have slept since then. These points were consistent with his sermon on Quinquagesima Sunday wherein he reminded us that there are two paths, charity vs. selfishness. I might add that the music was a sort of sermon as well. We heard the Mass setting by Thomas Luis de Victoria as well as pieces by Thomas Tallis and Alessandro Scarlatti. (And much Gregorian chant as well!)

  9. HighMass says:

    God Bless the Associate Pastor in our World, He read the last Sermon of Pope Benedict (Feb.2013)

    Oh How we miss Pope Benedict and His sermons, and wonderful teachings!

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    My priest seems to have the same formula for Ash Wednesday Mass every year which is to say repeatedly and emphatically: “NOW is a very acceptable time.”

  11. oldconvert says:

    The spiritual benefits accruing from fasting and abstention in a materialistic society.

    The church was packed, and not just with retired people, but all ages; usually on a weekday Mass (NO) there are only a dozen of us, tops, but on the weekend and on Holydays it is crammed. Of course on those days we have procession, servers, incense…and imposition of ashes yesterday, of course. Seems to me that there is a lesson there somewhere, and it is to do with the impoverishment of ritual and its effect on attendance. Human beings like ritual and as far as we know, always have. Even Neanderthals seem to have had some! Make a visit to a church feel as reverent as a visit to the supermarket, and many people just don’t bother. Call them culture Catholics if you like, the people at our Wednesday Mass were there, and they stayed for the whole Mass.

  12. laurazim says:

    I was happily in attendance last night at the TLM at the BOCC. Thank you, Father, for the sermon. I found myself nodding–and not in sleep–as you spoke about the forms of sacrifice, abstinence, and penance, and the snare of sin. Thanks be to God for a priest who speaks the names of the seven deadly sins and preaches repentance. It was a beautiful Mass.

  13. laurazim says:

    Ooh–and the cleansing effect of ashes!! THAT really stuck with me. Husband and I talked much about it last night. He really appreciated the analogy of the fish caught on the hook bearing resemblance to the way the devil snares our souls with sin.

  14. TWF says:

    I attended a beautiful Solemn High Mass according to the Anglican Use at an Ordinariate parish. (Ad orientem, priest / deacon / subdeacon, chanted, copious amounts of incense, Last Gospel…but all in English…what the Novus Ordo could have been essentially). During his homily, the priest encouraged the congregation to abstain from meat AT LEAST every Wednesday and Friday and, if physically able, fast during all the Fridays of Lent, in addition to whatever other personal sacrifices we have committed to do.

  15. Latin Mass Type says:

    Father spoke about prayer, fasting and alms giving. I forget what else.

    I have some good news that I wanted to share, though… An elderly blind family member who has only been to Mass infrequently (less than Christmas/Easter only) recently confessed and received anointing of the sick and communion. When asked if he wanted to go to the Ash Wednesday Mass he said, “Yes”. He sat through Mass (he can’t kneel) without scrooching around in the pew or sighing heavily every few minutes as he had done in the past. He takes communion on the tongue because, being blind, he did not realize people were ever receiving in the hand (yes, it’s been that long since he could see or attended Mass!).

    Afterwards I asked him if he’d ever gotten ashes on Ash Wednesday and he said no, this was his first time. I see the grace of God working in this person.

    Just wanted to share!

  16. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass, Father preached about Adam and Eve and how sin and death came into the world through human pride, and how Jesus makes it possible for us to regain the Kingdom if we repent.