The Lenten period started on Ash Wednesday ceremony at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Istanbul.
The start of the Lenten period, Ash Wednesday is celebrated on February 14th.
The ceremony, which was attended by a big crowd, started with the confession at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit of Istanbul, and continued with the Eucaristic celebration led by the Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Monsignor Ruben Tierrablanca.
Franciscan Father Eleuthère, the Parish priest of Saint Louis des Français Church read the Gospel and Monsignor Ruben Tierrablanca Preached. Tierrablanca said: “During the Lenten period we will encounter signs associated with the liturgy and pardon like today’s fasting, the ashes that we share in this mass, the prayers which prepare us to Easter, and other acts of pardon. But the most important one is a change of life and heart. Otherwise, we will just have lost time and no any external sign will be meaningful.”
After the sermon was over, all the participants received the blessed ashes by the bishop. The ashes used are the ashes of the burnt leaves of the last year’s Palm Sunday.
The celebration of the Ash Wednesday in Izmir is led by the Metropolitan Archbishop Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto in St. John’s Cathedral.
The Ash Wednesday is also celebrated in the Anglican, Lutheran and some Protestant churches. After the 40-day Great Fasting Period or Lenten period, the Easter in 2018 will be celebrated on April 1st.