Waterville churches celebrate the Lenten season

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

In addition to being Valentine’s Day, this year Feb. 14 is also Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the traditional Christian season of fasting and penance known as Lent.

Traditional Ash Wednesday services include time for reflection and the administration of ashes on the foreheads of those who attend. The ashes represent human frailty and remind us that our sojourns on earth are limited. The pastor or priest traditionally recites Genesis 3:19 as he administers the ashes: “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.”

The Lenten season lasts approximately six weeks and culminates on Easter Sunday, which will be April 1 this year. Some churches hold special services throughout the season to help people prepare for Holy Week, in which Christ’s crucifixion is remembered and his resurrection celebrated.

St. Joseph Catholic Church will hold its annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 13, which is Shrove Tuesday or the day before Ash Wednesday. All-you-can-eat pancakes, egg and ham casserole and fixings are provided by donation. The Ash Wednesday service at the church is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

United Lutheran Church will hold its Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m. Feb. 14. Lenten soup suppers will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 7, March 14 and March 21. The suppers are free and open to the public. There will be a worship service at 7 p.m. following each soup supper.

The Waterville Federated Church is planning an Ash Wednesday service at 6 p.m. Feb. 14.