Ash Wednesday Starts Lenten Season: New Orleans Archdiocese Releases Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule
Christians in several traditions observe today as Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. The season is a period of solemnity before Easter, the traditional observance of Jesus' resurrection, which will fall this year on April 4.

Ash Wednesday takes its name from ashes daubed on the faithful as a sign of penitence, with the traditional words, "Remember you are dust and will return to dust."

Lent is a somber season marked by prayer, introspection and repentance. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat. They are also days of fasting — one full meal and two small meals, with nothing eaten between meals. Catholics also abstain from meat on Good Friday and all other Fridays of Lent.

Ash Wednesday New Orleans Area Mass Schedule, provided by the Archdiocese of New Orleans:

St. Louis Cathedral - 7:30 am, Noon, 5 pm

All Saints, New Orleans - 6:30 am, 6:30 pm

Blessed Trinity, New Orleans - 7 am, 6:30 pm

Good Shepherd Parish, St. Stephen Catholic Church - Noon, 6 pm

Holy Family, Luling - 8:30 am, 6 pm

Immaculate Conception, Marrero - 6 am, Noon , 6 pm

Immaculate Conception (Jesuit) - New Orleans - 7:30 am, Noon, 5:15 pm

Infant Jesus of Prague Mission Church, Harvey - 8 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe, New Orleans - 7 am, Noon, 4 pm, 6 pm

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Belle Chasse - 9 am, Noon, 7 pm

Mary, Queen of Peace, Mandeville - 9 am, Noon, 7 pm

St. Andrew the Apostle, Algiers - 7 am, 8:30 am, 11 am, 7 pm

St. Anthony of Padua, New Orleans- 8:15 am, 12:10 pm, 5:30 pm (Prayer Service), 7:30 pm (Spanish Mass)

St. Edward the Confessor, Metairie - 7 am, 6 pm; Noon, 7:30 pm

St. Francis of Assisi, New Orleans - 8 am, Noon, 6 pm

St. Gertrude, Des Allemands - 8 am

St. Joan of Arc, LaPlace - 7 am, 8:30 am, Noon, 7 pm

St. John the Baptist, Paradis - 7 pm

St. Joseph, New Orleans - 7 am, 12:15 pm, 8:30 pm

St. Margaret Mary, Slidell - 6:30 am, 8:30 am, 6:30 pm

St. Martha, Harvey - 6:30 pm

St. Patrick, New Orleans - 11 am, 11:45 am, 12:30 pm, 5 pm

St. Peter, Reserve - 6:30 am, 6 pm; Noon

St. Pius X, New Orleans - 8 am, Noon, 5:15 pm