Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday, is the first day of the Season of Lent. Its name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on the forehead of the faithful with the sign of the cross using ashes as a sign of humility before God, a symbol of mourning and sorrow at the death that sin brings into the world. It not only prefigures the mourning at the death of Jesus, but also places the worshipper in a position to realize the consequences of sin. Ash Wednesday is a somber day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christian. The ashes come from the burning of palm branches used during Palm (Passion) Sunday of the previous year.

The use of ashes is very biblical and signifies repentance. Ash Wednesday is also known in the old days as dies cinerum (day of ashes).

* Job repented using ashes (Job 42:6) * Daniel prayed with fasting and ashes (Dn 9:3) * When Jonah preached God's coming judgment against Nineveh, the pagan king of Nineveh and his subjects repented with a fast, the king put on sackcloth and sat in ashes. (Jonah 3:5-10). * When King Ahasuerus ordered all Jews to be killed, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. So did the Jews throughout the land (Esther 4:1-3) * Jeremiah and Ezekiel mentioned mourning with ashes (Jer 6:26, Ez 27:30) * Jesus mentioned ashes as a sign of repentance in the case of Tyre and Sidon (Mt 11:21)

1 comment:

La Tea Dah said...

Lovely post today. Thank you!