Roman Catholics observe Friday, March 4, the first Friday of Lent, traditionally considered with the next six Fridays until, April 15, Good Friday, as a Day of Sacrifice, fasting, and penance in preparation for the solemn observance of the Holy Week, which begins on April 10, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.
As a Day of Sacrifice and in line with the penitential character of Lent, many devout Catholics will abstain from meat on all seven Fridays of the 40-day Lenten observance as a form of penitence.
The Lenten season liturgically began last March 2, Ash Wednesday. With the easing of restrictions, the imposition of blessed ashes on the forehead of the faithful was allowed again this year although some mass goers opted to have the ashes sprinkled on their heads which was done last year.
Pope Francis earlier called on Catholics to observe this year’s Ash Wednesday as a Day of Prayer, Fasting and Sacrifice and to pray for the restoration of peace in Ukraine.
Today and on all Fridays of Lent, many traditionally pray the Stations or Way of the Cross (Via Crucis), which recalls the Passion of Christ, the events preceding His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The faithful are also encouraged to go to confession, to perform works of mercy, give alms, to support the Catholic Church’s Fast2Feed program, self-denial, and penance, and to visit the adoration chapel aside from the customary practices done during Lent such as prayer, almsgiving, personal sacrifices, and missionary work while observing the safety protocols against Covid-19.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urges churchgoers to continue to refrain from touching, kissing, and wiping the images inside the church as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19.