Tuesday, 21 February 2012

What do Christians do on Ash Wednesday?

Today is Shrove Tuesday which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.

What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40 days (excluding Sundays) which lead to Easter Day.

What happens at an Ash Wednesday service?
During our Ash Wednesday service the palm crosses from last years' Palm Sunday are collected back and burned.  These are then mixed with oil and the priest makes the sign of the cross with the ashes onto our foreheads.  This is the ashing.  The priest will say the words remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.

What does the Bible say about Ash Wednesday?
There is nothing about Ash Wednesday in the Bible, nor for that matter is there anything about Lent.  However Matthew 11:21 does mention about repenting in sackcloth and ashes.

Why do I go to Ash Wednesday services?
I enjoy having one special time in the year when I really reflect on my sins and ask for forgiveness and help not to make them again.  Doing this is so cleansing and always leaves me feeling renewed and ready for the lent process.

The Ash Wednesday Prayer
God our Father,
you create us from the dust of the earth
Grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence
and a symbol of our mortality.

No comments: