Watch the Ash Wednesday Mass live on Feb. 14, at 12:05 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez will be the main celebrant and homilist. Today marks the beginning of Lent for Christians throughout the world and begins a 40-day period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday in preparation for the celebration of the sacred Paschal Triduum and the Easter season.