See where Ash Wednesday services are held near Palos Verdes.
PALOS VERDES, CA — Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent that’s celebrated primarily in the Catholic faith, is on Feb. 17 in 2021. Churches near Palos Verdes have ash services scheduled for the day.
On Ash Wednesday, observers of the day will have ashes applied in the shape of a cross to their foreheads. In many cases, people will wear the crosses throughout the rest of the day to publicly express their faith.
The ashes symbolize penance, mourning and mortality. Typically, the priest will apply the ashes while saying, “Remember you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”
The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration, which falls every year on the Sunday before Easter.
The administration of ashes this year will be different due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican has said.
The priest will bless the ashes and sprinkle them with holy water in silence, according to the new guidance on the holiday. He will then address the crowd and reciting once the formula found in the Roman Missal: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Rememberer that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The ashes will be sprinkled on each person’s head without the priest saying anything, the Vatican’s pandemic guidance states.
The pandemic may affect services planned at local churches in other ways, too. Be prepared to wear a face covering and practice social distancing if in-person services are taking place.
Here is a list of churches near Palos Verdes offering special services for Ash Wednesday and other events during the Lenten season:
St. John Fisher Church, 5448 Crest Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes
(Ashes will be placed on foreheads)
- 6:30 a.m. Mass
- 8 a.m. Mass
- 4 p.m. Liturgy of the Word
- 5:15 p.m. Mass
- 7:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Word
St. James Catholic Church, 415 Vincent St., Redondo Beach
- 8 a.m. Mass inside church
- Noon Mass outside in the courtyard
- 4 p.m. Mass outside in the courtyard
- 5 p.m. Service inside church
- 7 p.m. Mass inside church
St. Lawrence Martyr Church, 1940 S Prospect Ave, Redondo Beach
- 8 a.m. Mass
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 244 Prospect Ave, Hermosa Beach
- Distribution of ashes: 8:30-9:30 a.m., noon to 1 p.m.; 4-6 p.m.
- 7 p.m. Spanish Mass in the church parking lot for which people must register. Ashes will be distributed during this outdoor mass.
St. Catherine Laboure Church, 3846 Redondo Beach Blvd, Torrance
- 5 p.m. Mass in the center parking between school office and classrooms. No cars allowed in this area. (Ashes will be distributed with a single-use cotton swab.)
St. Anastasia’s Catholic Church, 7390 W Manchester Ave., Los Angeles
- 8 a.m. Mass
- 5 p.m. Mass
Lent is a religious period chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians also observe the 40-day span that serves as time of reflection and restraint in the build-up to Easter.
Many people take part in fasting and/or giving up certain luxuries or pleasures during the period to commemorate the sacrifices made by Christ.
Lent this year will end on Saturday, April 3.