Ash Wednesday Eucharist


Thursday 18th, 2015, Gonzaga College celebrated Ash Wednesday that marked the beginning the season of Lent as annual agenda of Church’s liturgy. Ash Wednesday is celebrated 40 days before Easter day. Generally, many Catholic schools consider this day as holiday that the students go to the holy mass together with their family. But what happen in Gonzaga College is different. Students are in school and study as like as daily activity and join holy mass at 12.00. Duration of each lesson was cut, therefore students able to join the mass without any risk to back home lately.

Ash Wednesday mass that is themed, “No Gratitude without Solicitude” is presided by Father Th. S. Sarjumunarsa, SJ, Father Leonardus Winandoko, SJ, and Father Ch. Vico, SJ. Holy mass was accompanied by Gonzaga Voice or SurGa choir that beautify the atmosphere of solitude and devout mass. The mass underlines three important things in Ash Wednesday, “Pray, Fast, and Charity”. It also invites people to share each other. It is the way for them to own modesty.



In his homily, Father Sarju asks Mr. Isharmanto, a teacher of Biology, to stand in front of altar and questions him about his reflection on body and his family as an example of gratitude and faithful life. Then, Father Sarju warns three parts of body that need to be kept in fasting, “Eyes, Mouth, and Hands.” He also gives three challenges about to care to school’s environment by three questions; “Are we open our eyes to the trashes in our school? Are our mouths agreed not to complain or to grumble and not to command others to take trashes? Are our hands wanted to take trashes and put it in a trash bin?”

The theme of Ash Wednesday mass this year reflects the faithful life dynamics that becomes more Eucharistic as written in lent pastoral letter 2015. That theme is also challenging us, “Are we ready to break ourselves and to share to others who need help like bread in the supper for Jesus and his disciples?” The meaning of “to break ourselves” in the question above is a process. “In this life, do we want to be processed to defeat our selfishness and to care to others who need help?” This theme invites us to care the others more, especially in the middle of actual degradation of values which tend to uphold individual needs. In addition, by sharing we find consolation, happiness, and the visions of our life which never be found in any item or materials.

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Homily is followed by “The Blessing Prayer of Ashes” led by concelebrants. All students are invited to receive the ash tag. The ash tag on foreheads is a symbol of blessing to commemorate an ancient Israel rite when people shower his head or his body with ashes as a sign of sadness, regret, and a will to repent from sins. In Catholic Church ash tag is a commemoration that God created the first human from ash (soil). By Ash tag, human is remembering their true identity that human came from ash and will become ash, therefore we could be humble and aware to our weakness and flawed.

After the closing prayer, the mass is over. All students are ready to go home or join the extracurricular. Thus is the celebration of Ash Wednesday in our campus, Gonzaga College. May the Ash Wednesday give its deep meaning to us!


By: Sammuel Reinhart XIPA