- Impositions of Ashes
- A time for reflection and repentance marking the beginning of Lent
- History of Ash Wednesday
- Acknowledging our mortality, our finitude and our moral failings
- Video: Ash Wednesday & Lent in Two Minutes, History of Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent in the church’s calendar. Lent is a period of forty days (plus six Sundays) preceding Easter.
For centuries many Christians have found it very helpful to follow the custom of using this time in order to prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. It is a period for reflecting on Jesus’ suffering and death, self-reflection, confession of sin and repentance, making restitution and seeking to make peace with others.
Many choose to engage in some form of fasting during these forty days, to give additional time to Bible reading or undertake extra work in caring for the poor, the sick or the lonely.
Consider committing to one practice for the 6 weeks of Lent such as a weekly volunteer commitment, fasting from certain foods or meals or from a regular activity, adding a weekly time of silence, or making financial gifts to charities, to name a few.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, so named because in many churches, ashes are placed (“imposed”) in the shape of a cross, on the foreheads of worshippers.
The ashes are a reminder of our mortality, our sinfulness, and our need for God’s grace (i.e. unearned favour).
Ash Wednesday worship is solemn, quiet and reflective. Join us, after your busy, hectic day, and make a good start to observing Lent.