Participant praying on Ash Wednesday
Truth is Ash Wednesday was never mentioned in the Bible, but why the relevance?
It is the first day of 40-day Lent, Christian holy fasting and prayer observed by Catholics, Anglicans.
Others are Methodists, Lutherians, Moravians, Nazarenes, as well as many from Reformed faith.
Here are some facts about Ash Wednesday:
*It was from the dictum of placing of repentant ashes on participant’s foreheads with “Repent, believe in the Gospel”.
Also the “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” dictum.
*The ashes used are derived from burnt palm leaves used in previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.
*The day is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat and repentance.
It is a day of contemplating one’s transgressions.
*Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians, either by being sprinkled over their heads.
Ashes are also being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross.
*It is 46 weeks ahead of Easter Sunday.
Easter is a moveable feast that occurs on different date in different years.
*The earliest date Ash Wednesday can occur is February 4. It happened in 1598, 1693, 1761, 1818, and until 2285.
*The latest date can occur is March 10 which occurred in 1666, 1734, 1886 and 1943 and will next occur in 2038.
*Not all Christians observe it. Those that refrain from its celebrations includes Mormons, Evangelicals.
Pentecostal Christians are some of the denominations that don’t take part in the holy day.
*Ash Wednesday dates back to less than 1000 years old.
*You can get ashes without going to Church, as many parishes have started offering “ashes to go” on Ash Wednesday.
Priests and pastors will often station themselves in public places—like street corners, parking lots, and public transit stops.
They prepared to administer blessed ashes to whoever asks to receive them.