By Catholic Sabah 

Feb 4 2021

KOTA KINABALU – This year Ash Wednesday falls on Feb 17 in the midst of the Lunar Year celebration, which kicks in on Feb 12.

In a January circular released to the clergy and the religious, Archbishop John Wong, has asked all faithful in the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese to observe the regular fast and abstinence from meat for Ash Wednesday.

However, dispensation from fast and abstinence from meat is granted to all faithful celebrating the Chinese New Year on three consecutive Fridays: 12, 19 and 26 February.

The decision was made as part of the Liturgical Matters raised for this region at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei online meeting on 4-8 January 2021.

The KK prelate reminds the people that Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of our Lenten Journey, is a day of fasting and penance for the entire Church. The Church sets aside this special time for “repentance, conversion and new life”.

In his circular, the Archbishop reiterates the need for good catechesis in order to enter and journey throughout this Holy Season of Lent with a spirit of conversion. With this thought in mind and heart, he calls on the clergy and religious to “help our people” to enter more deeply into the paschal mystery with the disciplines of fasting and abstinence, and almsgiving and prayer.