The Holy Father always celebrates Ash Wednesday at Santa Sabina—the "home" of the Order of Preachers. For some reason, which I don't know, silver candlesticks and crucifix are traditional for Domincians. We have them here at our monastery.
To get a glimpse into how Lent is celebrated in our monastery go HERE to read an article Sr. Mary Catharine wrote several years ago for Our Sunday Visitor.
Here is a translation of one of the traditional Office hymns that we sang today. It so beautiful sums our desires for a "good Lent".
O MERCIFUL Creator, hear!
To us in pity bow Thine ear:
accept the tearful prayer we raise
in this our fast of forty days.
Our hearts are open, Lord, to Thee:
Thou knowest our infirmity;
pour out on all who seek Thy face
abundance of Thy pardoning grace.
Our sins are many, this we know;
spare us, good Lord, Thy mercy show;
and for the honor of Thy name
our fainting souls to life reclaim.
Give us self-control that springs
from discipline of outward things,
that fasting inward secretly
the soul may purely dwell with Thee.
We pray Thee, Holy Trinity,
one God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence. Amen.