Today is Ash Wednesday, a Holy Day of prayer that begins the season of Lent. If you, like me, didn’t grow up observing Ash Wednesday, here are a few things you should know.
Why the Ashes?
The ashes remind us of our mortality, and all of the frailty that goes along with it. The priest or pastor dips his finger into the ash and then makes the sign of the cross on the worshiper’s forehead while reciting these words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
How did This Get Started?
Originally, the season of Lent served two purposes- It was a season of preparation for baptism for new converts. Additionally, it was a time when those who had been put under discipline for “notorious sins,” were brought back into fellowship through “penitence and forgiveness.” (Book of Common Prayer)
If I Get Ashes, Do I Have to Leave Them On All Day?
That is up to you. Some people choose to leave them on all day, others remove them after the service. I like to leave them on because I am one of those people who easily forgets my lessons in life. No judgment though. You do what works for you.
Just Curious- Where Do Those Ashes Come From Anyway?
Good question! You can buy the ashes at a church supply store, but originally they were made from the burning of the previous year’s Palm Branches from Palm Sunday.
Can We Talk for a Minute About Lent and How That Works?
Sure! Join me tomorrow and we will do just that.