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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Ash Wednesday!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which culminates on Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a 40-day period, which Christians all over the world observe. It is a season for prayer and fasting.

The observance of Ash Wednesday reminds believers that men have come from dust and to dust they will return. It encourages the faithful to turn away from sin and return to God. Ministers draw the image of a cross on peoples’ foreheads using ash from burnt palm leaves, which have been used in the past Resurrection Sunday. The ash represents a person’s act of repentance from sin. This is a depiction of the ancient biblical tradition where people who express repentance from their evil ways put on sackcloth and pour ashes on their heads.

This tradition is prominent with the Roman Catholic Faith although other Christian denominations also observe this annual spiritual event.

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