Ash Wednesday; The Beginning Of The Lenten Season - All You Need To Know About It

Today 6th March 2019, Christians all around the world celebrate the Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the 40-day period of Lent.

They're two of the most important liturgical events for Christians and help prepare them for Easter.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten period, a 40 day period of prayer, fasting, repentance and abstinence during which Christians work to grow closer to God.

During this period, Christians show mourning for their sins, because they believe that Christ died for them.

Ash Wednesday is a holy day of obligation for the Christians, they abstain from eating meat, they also are expected to give up meat on Fridays during Lent.

Ash Wednesday is a special day of devotion in which Christians accept ashes on their forehead as a reminder of their mortality and a sign of their repentance. It also serves as a reminder of their humble beginning.

Receiving ash on ash wednesday

When the priest applies the cross of ashes, he says to the worshiper: "“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” He also may say “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

The Lenten season which begins on Ash Wednesday, ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter and Easter is the start of a new season in the Church and it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the triumph of good over evil.

The Christians believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter day is a symbolic fulfillment of God's promise that they too will someday arise from the dead.

Lent Image

The Lenten season is characterized by major features which include self-sacrifice, fasting, abstinence and charity.

All of these are intended to mortify the flesh and prepare one’s heart to welcome Christ who is to be reborn from birth during Easter.

During the 40 days, Christians are expected to fast regularly and accompany such fasts with prayers.

In the spirit of meditation on the passion and death of Christ, they are also expected to genuinely turn away from their sins and embrace holiness and righteousness.

  • Where do the ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from?

Traditionally, ashes used on Ash Wednesday are gathered up after palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. They are then blessed before being used in the ceremony.

Palms are used on Palm Sunday in many Christian churches to symbolize Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his crucifixion on Easter.
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