ASH WEDNESDAYThe season of Lent, a 40-day period of preparing for the commemorat…


The season of Lent, a 40-day period of preparing for the commemoration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday.

💜 What is Ash Wednesday?

It marks first day of the 40 days of Lent, a roughly six-week period (not including Sundays) dedicated to reflection, prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter. It ends on Holy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) that marks the Last Supper.

Ash Wednesday is an obligatory day of Fasting and Abstinence for Catholics, except for sick people and pregnant or nursing women. Catholics are also obliged to abstain every Friday during the Lenten Season.

Fasting – Only one full meal and two smaller meals are allowed during the day.

Abstinence – To refrain from eating meat or meat products.

In addition to certain rules about foods and fasting, many abstain from additional foods, luxury or material goods or certain activities and habits.

💜 Where do the ashes come from?

They’re obtained from the burning of the palms of the previous Palm Sunday, which occurs on the Sunday before Easter, and applied during services. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ return to Jerusalem, when people waved palm branches to celebrate his arrival. The ashes are typically mixed with Holy Water.

💜 What do the ashes mean?

The ashes, applied in the shape of a cross, are a symbol of penance, mourning and mortality. Centuries ago, participants used to sprinkle themselves with ashes and repent much more publicly, but the practice fell away sometime between the 8th-10th century before evolving into what it is today. There aren’t any particular rules about how long the ashes should be worn, but most people wear them throughout the day as a public expression of their faith and penance.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.💜