Online listing of Ash Wednesday Masses in Maine now available

PORTLAND—To mark the beginning of the Lenten season, Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on March 2 at 12:15 p.m. The Mass will also be available via livestream at

Listings of Ash Wednesday Masses scheduled for Catholic churches in Maine are now available on the Diocese of Portland’s website. To search by city or town, visit To search by parish, visit

Lent is a period of intense spiritual renewal both for Christians who prepare to celebrate the annual commemoration of the Paschal mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, as well as for the elect, who will be baptized and received into the full communion of the Church at Easter.

During the Mass at the Cathedral, the ashes will be blessed by Bishop Deeley. The bishop, along with concelebrating priests, will use their thumbs to impose ashes on each person’s forehead, making the Sign of the Cross and saying either: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

The ashes are made from the burning of palms used in last year’s Palm Sunday celebrations. The bishop offers a special prayer of blessing over the ashes and sprinkles them with Holy Water. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and a day of abstinence from meat. Fasting applies to Catholics between the ages of 18 and 60 and means they should eat only one full meal and two smaller meals if needed. 

A special Lent section has been created on the Diocese of Portland’s website with resources to assist you during your Lenten journey. It features Mass times; prayer opportunities, including the Stations of the Cross; special event listings; Scripture study and other faith-enriching offerings at parishes; a “Saints of Lent” section; Scripture reflections; retreat information; Lenten messages from Pope Francis; and much more. To visit the site, which will be updated throughout Lent, visit