Philadelphians gathered at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul this afternoon to celebrate Ash Wednesday (that’s the day that comes after Fat Tuesday, for those of you who still recovering from Mardi Gras).
Archbishop Charles Chaput led the afternoon mass as Philadelphia’s 266 parishes held their own services.
The mass marks the beginning of the 40-day Lenten period, leading right up to Holy Thursday just ahead of Easter.
Observant Catholics 14 and older are asked to abstain from eating meat Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent, while those 18 to 59 are asked to eat only one full meal on those days.