BAY RIDGE — Following the distribution of ashes at the 11:45 a.m. Ash Wednesday Mass, Father Kevin Abels blessed a new six-foot Lenten cross outside Our Lady of Angels.
“The new cross is a public symbol of our faith and a sign that we embrace our own crosses as the redeeming love of Christ,” Father Abels said.
The Our Lady of Angels pastor explained that he discussed the possibility of having such a cross at the church’s main entrance facing Brooklyn’s busy Fourth Ave. with the parishioners, and they wholeheartedly supported having it erected on a platform inside the gate surrounding the church.
Also new to the parish’s Lenten experience this year is a crown of thorns that rests on a purple pillow in front of the main altar.
Father Abels and the other priests of the parish distributed ashes to more than 300 people who attended the liturgy. It was one of five Masses and prayer services at which ashes were distributed at the parish. Ashes were also distributed in small glassine envelopes to be brought to homebound parishioners.
When the Mass and blessing were completed, Father Abels then participated in the distribution of ashes at nearby Bay Ridge Catholic Academy, which is located in the former St. Anselm’s School building and serves the children of both parishes and the wider community.
The Lenten cross at Our Lady of Angels will be on display for the duration of Lent.