Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

At the start of this Lenten season, we reflect on three important phrases which the priest will say while marking our foreheads with ashes:
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”
“Turn away from sin, and believe in the Gospel”
"Repent and believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

It is interesting to note that in European countries, including Italy and Malta, the ashes are placed or dropped on top of the head, instead of marked on the forehead as is done in the USA. I also have a custom of asking the people to bring back the old palms from last year’s Palm Sunday and I will burn them a few days before, and use the ashes from the burned palms for the celebration of Ash Wednesday. This also shows the continuity between one year and another, from ashes to palms, and from palms to ashes. It is also a reminder of the stark fact that from dust we came, and to dust we will return, as the first phrase proclaims. Some parishes in New York replace the holy water fonts with ashes instead of holy water during Lent.
I invite you to journey with me as I share with you during the next 40 days, reflections and meditations that will help you get closer to the crucified Jesus.
We adore you o Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

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