Faithful celebrate Ash Wednesday in Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Wednesday was more than just a day to celebrate love as Christians all over the world attended Ash Wednesday services, kicking off the Lenten season.

"From ashes we come, we go back to ashes," Msgr. Craig Harrison said. "So part of it is, I always remember when I receive my ashes in the stream of life, I'm nothing. I need to become less so Christ becomes more."

Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten season, the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.

"Christians practice the gifts of prayer, fasting and alms giving with the idea that we want to become better Christians," Harrison said. "We want to grow in our relationship with Christ"

It's a journey based on sacrifice, like how Christ sacrificed for them. 

Students at California State University, Bakersfield attended mass on campus between classes, many planning to give up things like sweets or fast food.

"I'm going to give up Chick-Fil-A and all the fast foods," Kimberly Ortiz said. "Just to kind of ask him to forgive me for the sins that I have caused and also for all the souls in purgatory." 

Others, like Sonia Holguin choose do do something to help better them as a Christian.

"I'm planning on giving up temptations," Holguin said. "And what I mean by that is just letting the Lord guide me to making the right decisions, and I'm on the right path and just to make sure I'm never being negative and doubting myself. "

Some churches offering Ash Wednesday services include St. Francis Parish, St. Philip the Apostle Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. Joseph Catholic Church.


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