Today, March 01,2017 is Ash Wednesday and was marked as the first day of Lent.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in Catholic World and will manifest by services of penitence or showing sorrow and regretfull. Its official name is “Day of Ashes,” because of the practice of rubbing ashes on each persons forehead and in the sign of a cross. Since it is exactly 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday, it will always fall on a Wednesday for there cannot be an “Ash Thursday” or “Ash Monday.”
Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the Liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.
Why we receive the Ashes
Our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told as the Priest mark our forehead :
“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”
Alternatively, the priest may speak the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
Where are the Ashes made from
The ashes are made from the blessed palms which was used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the last year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.
What to do after receiving the Ashes and marked on your forehead
Usually if the person who received the Ashes will be having a fasting or any actions that involves in volunteerism. Some may not eat meat on friday or even everyday of the week, there are also some people who really taking more seriously this feast and will have to apply the fastimg every day of their lives until Easter Sunday and will just eat Vegetables and Fish.
Their are also some people who cut some of the usual unnecesary things they always do.
Have you already received the Ash on your forehead? What are your fasting plan or what are your penitence this Lenten Season?
What is a Lenten Season
A lenten Season is a Solemn Religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday.
It is a Season of 40 days before Easter except sundays because every sunday will be represent as a little Easter. Why 40 days? It is because the 40 days represents the time where Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of satan and preparing to begin his ministry before this festive.
A lent is a time of repetance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time to forgive, forgive for the people who made you hate has also a reason why it happens or why that person did that hateful things to you and be forgiven also for what you’ve made them hate you. It is a time of self-realization, realizing what good deeds should I offer or what bad deeds did I ever do and it is also a time of reflection, reflect the things you think might ruins other people and might hurt them and their feelings. It is a time to focus on the relationship with God, to know more about him, and how he has been a good father to us. This festive is often choosing to give up something, something you always do or used or to volunteer and help others who are in need and give of themselves for others.
And I hope all of us would do unite in supporting our God.
This year it’s from March 01, 2017 the Ash Wednesday to April 16, 2017 the Easter Sunday.