SUNNYSIDE Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season.
It also marks the start of local traditions, such as special mass services and churches partnering for Wednesday night Lenten services.
Soup and pie, oh my
Next Wednesday, Feb. 17, the season also starts a much-loved tradition in Sunnyside; soup and pie lunches dished up by volunteers from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 405 S. Fourth St.
Church volunteers there created a program more than four decades ago to give deprived Christians the best food in Sunnyside – homemade pies and soup.
Known as the Lenten Soup and Pie Lunches, the Episcopalians will begin serving their hot soup with a roll and pie, on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served until 1 p.m.
For those wishing to request delivery orders, organizers ask that orders be made between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. the day of the luncheon.
The numbers to call are 837-4777 or 840-1174.
Those attending the social event of the Lenten season at the Episcopal church can find chicken noodle soup, bean soup, country vegetable soup potato soup supreme and gourmet beef vegetable soup and a long list of luscious pies.
Proceeds from the lunches also do more than warm diners’ stomachs during the long Lent season. The proceeds help fund church missions locally and worldwide, including the Wiley House women’s shelter, Alcohol Anonymous, Young Life and Comprehensive Mental Health programs.
Today is Shrove Tuesday, celebrated in many places as Mardi Gras, a day to party before the start of 40 days of fasting known as Lent.
Lent is observed by Christians around the world as a time to reflect and seek reconciliation, said Deacon Kerry Turley of the Sunnyside St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
To help local Catholics mark Ash Wednesday tomorrow, there will be three separate Christian masses at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 904 S. Sixth St.
Beginning at noon an English mass will be held followed by a bilingual mass at 6 p.m. and a Spanish mass at 8 p.m.
“In total, we will see several thousand people attend the three masses where each will received a touch of ash on their foreheads as a symbol of their repentance,” Turley said.
Ashes on the go
There is also an option for Christians in a hurry on Ash Wednesday.
Pastors from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church and United Methodist Church will stand at the corner of South Ninth Street and East Edison Avenue tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. offering “ashes on the go,” a type of drive-by ceremony for the faithful.
The ashes imposed on a person’s forehead on Ash Wednesday are a sign of remorse, repentance and mourning.
For many, Lent also includes a decision to make sacrifices as a way to show repentance. Some times that repentance means forgoing meat on Fridays during Lent.
End of Lent
When will the season of fasting and reconciliation end? On Palm Sunday, March 20, which this year may include a Holy Week Processional, said Turley.
“Palm Sunday definitely is the end of fasting and begins the season of rejoicing Christ’s rising,” he said.
Following Palm Sunday will be Easter on Sunday, March 27.