Ash Wednesday with Regina Caeli Parish in Houston

“Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.”
“Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”
~ Gen 3:19

In the Old Law, ashes were a sign of repentance, mourning, and grief of soul. In the New Law, sackcloth and ashes represented the public repentance of sins in the early Church.

In time, the great Lent became fixed at 40 days, and began with the burning of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. In this act, the Church physically manifests the glory of Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, and at the same time it reiterates that humanity was fashioned from the dust of the earth, and to dust it shall return, by the corruption of the grave.

As the members of the Fraternity’s apostolate in Houston began the forty days of Lent, Fr. Charles van Vliet, FSSP, pastor of Regina Caeli parish, blessed the ashes of Palm Sunday, and thereafter imposed the cross upon the foreheads of all present, reciting God’s admonition, “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.”

March 10, 2014