Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It is also known as Day of Ashes.
It is the first day of Lent and occurs forty days before Easter. Worshippers are marked with
ashes on their forehead as a symbol of death, and sorrow for sin.
The ashes used are gathered after the Palm Crosses from the previous year's Palm
Sunday are burned. These ash are mixed with the Oil of the Catechumens. It is
one of the sacred oils used to anoint those about to be baptized.
The marking denotes:
1. Death comes to everyone.
2. They should be sad for their sins.
3. They must change themselves for the better.
4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God,
human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
The cross is a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism. By having their
foreheads marked with the sign of a cross, this symbolizes that the person
belongs to Jesus Christ.
The priest or minister says one of the following when applying the ashes:
Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
Repent, and hear the good news.
Ash Wednesday(Beginning of Lent) is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance.