LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Archbishop Jose H. Gomez celebrated his first Ash Wednesday Mass Wednesday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, beginning the 40-day season of Lent.

During Lent, observers prepare for Easter by doing penance for sins and seek spiritual renewal through prayer, self-denial and good works.

In his Lenten Message, Gomez explains that Lent “is all about reconciliation with God and his church and deeper conversion to Christ and his gospel.”

“Lent is the season of renewal, the springtime of the spirit,” Gomez wrote. “It is a time for purification, for rooting out bad habits and making good resolutions.”

Ash Wednesday is named for the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful, as a sign of repentance. A minister or priest marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until washing it off after sundown.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat and repentance. Other Christian denominations make fasting optional, with the main focus being on repentance.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. mary milewski says:

    I would like to know what became of Mia Lee the news anchor woman with Dave Gonzales in the afternoon? She was a delight, we miss her.

  2. Diane says:

    All the pedophile priests should be at the front of the line repenting for the thousands of children whose lives they ruined.

    1. Blanca Rivas-Villarreal says:

      I suppose your a perfect human without sins, Diane. I do not agree with what pope Gregory did over 1,500 years ago, not allowing priest to marry with adding lust to the 7 deadly sins, but the idea now is not to blame people for their sin but to recognize our own and better ourselves, even if you don’t believe in god, you always want to strive for better not blame others for your misfortunes. A famous man once said,”Take thy plank of wood out of thy own eye, so that you may see the speck of dust in mine.” In other words look at your own sins. And this man never once judged or criticized anyone even though he was judged, punished, humiliated, and put to death. Even his last words were for the sinners,”Forgive them lord for they know not what they do” No one is perfect, if you say you are, you are in denial and need mental help. This is a time to reflect on our own mistakes and learn from them. I am not perfect and I have asked for forgiveness from those whom I have hurt, have you?

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