'Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return' was heard around the diocese on Ash Wednesday, 1st March, as Catholics flocked to Mass to receive ashes on their foreheads and thus begin the season of Lent.
All Masses at Westminster Cathedral were very well attended, and the queues for confession were full throughout the day. Cardinal Vincent was the principal celebrant at the 5.30pm Mass. His homily focused on the call to grow in holiness through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. After the homily, the choir accompanied the imposition of ashes with the singing of Allegri's Miserere.
In addition to parish churches and schools, Ash Wednesday Masses were held in a variety of locations, such as hospital and hospice chaplaincies, and university and college chaplaincies.
The university chaplaincies were particularly well-served, with Bishop Nicholas Hudson celebrating the 5.30pm Mass at Newman House, the Catholic chaplaincy at the University of London, where some 300 students attended Mass throughout the day, Bishop John Sherrington celebrating the lunchtime Mass at the LSE Faith Centre, and Bishop John Wilson celebrating the evening Mass at Brunel University.
Throughout Lent, additional devotions, including the Stations of the Cross, take place at various parishes and chaplaincies. For further information, please check individual parish and chaplaincy websites. For Westminster Cathedral times, please see their website.
Main photo: Cardinal Vincent imposing ashes on choristers in Westminster Cathedral (Mazur/Catholicnews.org.uk). Additional photos from this Mass are available here.
Top: Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Fr Stephen Wang and students at Newman House chaplaincy
Above: Bishop John Sherrington with students at LSE Faith Centre