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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ash Wednesday at A&M

Photo+of+the+inside+of+St.+Marys+after+daily+Mass+on+Feb.+21
Courtesy of Rebeca Sada

Photo of the inside of St. Mary’s after daily Mass on Feb. 21

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated as of Feb. 22, 2023, in order to provide clarifications between the services available on and off campus.

This Wednesday, Feb. 22, marks the celebration of Ash Wednesday, a holiday celebrated by Catholics all over the world. Texas A&M will host four Ash Services at Rudder Theatre throughout the day in conjunction with St. Mary’s ministry.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time of preparation for Jesus’ resurrection on Easter, medical sciences graduate student Alexis Magre said.

“Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent [when] Catholics repent for their sins before Easter,” Magre said. “There are multiple references in the Old Testament of using ashes in repentance so Ash Wednesday is a symbol of our contrition. I love the tradition and symbolism in the Catholic Church and it really makes my relationship with Christ much stronger.”

The practice of Ash Wednesday and Lent aren’t only celebrated by Catholics. Business administration sophomore Jake Drabek said the holiday is celebrated by many Christians alike and all students or community members are welcome to attend.

“If you are even thinking about going, you should go,” Drabek said. “If you are at all curious there are eight different times to go and you do not at all have to be Catholic to show up or receive ashes.”

St. Mary’s Catholic Church will host four Masses at their church as well as four Ash Services on campus at Rudder. Mass includes the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Preparation of the Gifts, the Eucharistic Prayer and Communion, are present for Mass, while Ash Services do not provide Eucharist. The Masses at St. Mary’s will take place at 7 a.m., 12 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Ash Services at Rudder Theatre will take place at 10:20 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Psychology sophomore Josie Reyes said she plans on attending either the 7 a.m. Mass or the 12:45 p.m. Ash Service with her friends.

“I would love to get my ashes earlier in the day and also be able to pray at Mass,” Reyes said. “However, I would go to the Rudder service if I don’t make it to Mass as it fits into my schedule … I think it is so cool that there’s an opportunity to receive my ashes on campus and that there are so many times so finding a time that fits into my schedule is easier.”

St. Mary’s is able to host Ash Wednesday services on campus for the A&M community because A&M is part of their parish. A&M is under the pastoral care of St. Mary’s and it shows, Blinn student and Spanish sophomore Maggie Erwin said.

“I am thankful that Texas A&M allows these services to be on campus because they are showing respect for those of us who want to attend church but have busy schedules,” Erwin said. “There are so many people who go to the Masses at St Mary’s, and that can be pretty distracting. So I appreciate having more space by having campus services. I also know the Masses take a really long time, and because my schedule is really busy it can be hard staying for the whole Mass. Having services is nice because I can start lent with Ash Wednesday but also keep my other commitments.”
To learn more about St. Mary’s Masses and Ash Services, visit their website.

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