7 Things You Should Know about Ash Wednesday

7 Things You Should Know about Ash Wednesday

Chances are you’ll see a bunch of folks walking around with shmutz on their foreheads this Wednesday (Feb. 14). What does having a dirty forehead have to do with being a Christian and why this ritual is gaining in popularity? What is the significance behind Ash Wednesday and why do Christians still attend Ash Wednesday services? Even if you attend one at your church you may not know the history behind it.

Well, here is what you need to know:

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1. Why you may see people with dirt on their foreheads

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the day many Christians mark as the first day of Lent, the time of reflection and penitence leading up to Easter Sunday. Clergy all over the world dispense ashes, usually made by burning the palm fronds distributed on last year’s Palm Sunday, making the sign of the cross on the bowed foreheads before them. As they “impose” or “dispense” the ashes, the pastor or priest reminds each Christian of Genesis 3:19: “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.”

 

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