It’s Ash Wednesday today (Feb 17th 2010) !!
I learnt that Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes as a Sign of the Cross on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of repentance.
It’s ritual to celebrate this day as a reminder of mortality.
Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty-six days (forty days not counting Sundays) before Easter. Ash Wednesday is a moveable fast, as it is dependent on the date of Easter.
While administering ashes priest / minister recites the words:
“Remember (O man) that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”
“Repent, and believe the Gospel.”
What people do on Ash Wednesday:
- Considers attending a church for an Ash Wednesday service. In a Catholic church, the priest will dip his thumb into previously blessed ashes and mark your forehead in the shape of a cross.
- Ash Wednesday is a good time to think about significant things in your life and to try to set your priorities. Regret your mistakes, purify yourself and prepare for holy Ester.
- Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. You can simply think about Ash Wednesday as the beginning of a time of remorse for your past conduct and prayer and getting preparing for the Ester. It’s a period of purification and renewal.
- As it’s a fasting day on Ash Wednesday, so you may think of doing it whole day/ one time.
- People obtains the “lenten regulations” from respective church / priest, to get the Lenten season off to a good start.
- Have a Bible.