The Beginning of Lent Season in Kyrgyzstan

The Lent Season began on February 14, 2024. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lent Season in the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Catholics in Kyrgyzstan entered the period of 4 weeks of Lent Season. This special preparation period for Christ’s Easter will conclude on Holy Week before the Lord’s Supper Mass on Holy Thursday, which opens the Sacred Easter Triduum.

In the parish of St. Archangel Michael in Bishkek, as well as in other Catholic parishes in Kyrgyzstan, Holy Masses were conducted. During these Masses, the ritual of sprinkling the ashes on the heads of the faithful was performed, which is a sign of repentance. This was previously part of the rite of dedication to the “penitential order” (ordo poenitentium), which is the reason for the name “Ash Wednesday.” While applying the ashes on the head, the priest says the words: “Remember, man, that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). The number “40” in the Bible signifies a period of preparation, purification, and repentance – these are means of bringing the penitent closer to God and preparing for the celebration of Easter.