March 5, 2014: Ash Wednesday

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 4th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2g0k8qyj/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is one of the most important dates in Western Christianity, yet many, if not most of today’s Bible believing Christian don’t know the real meaning of Lent or the special days in Lent— March 5 - Ash Wednesday, April 13 - Palm Sunday, April 17 - Maundy (Holy) Thursday, April 18 - Good Friday, and April 20 - Easter Sunday. I will discuss each of these days in its own article, beginning with Ash Wednesday.

What is the Season of Lent?

The season of Lent begins 40 days before Easter Sunday but the 40 days don’t include Sundays, so Lent actual starts 46 days before Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. Lent is the season when most Christian prepares for Easter Sunday, the day Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior rose from the dead. Many Christians see Lent as a time to prepare for the day of Jesus’ resurrection, a time spent in prayer, fasting, and repentance, a time spent in developing their spiritual discipline and moderation in all things.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesdays is the first day of the Season of Lent, but nowhere is an Ash Wednesday or the custom of Lent mentioned in the Bible, however the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is spoken of in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21. Ash Wednesday is not observed by all church denominations, being observed mostly in the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican denominations, and by Roman Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox Churches actually begin celebrating Lent on Monday called “Clean Monday” and Ash Wednesday isn’t observed by the Eastern Orthodox denominations. Ash Wednesday always falls on a Wednesday between February 4th and March 11th. During early Christian history, the actual length of the Season of Lent varied but in the 7th century A.D., it was fixed at 40 days to remind us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. In the early church, penitents were sprinkled in ashes, wore sackcloth, and had to remain apart from the rest of the community until they were reconciled on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter.

Ashes Today

The spot of ash upon the penitents’ forehead is the blessing. The blessing, in the Bible, is an indication of God’s relationship with a person or with a nation, it is a sign that God’s grace is upon them and, perhaps, of His presence with them. To be blessed means that a person or people take part in God’s plans for the world and humanity. The blessing isn’t a one-way transaction. Although it is common for people to think of a blessing as God blessing them, we as Christians also bless God by actively participating in His plan for all mankind. Originally, ashes were only applied to the foreheads of those participating in Lent. By the 11th century, this tradition had largely disappeared with ashes being distributed during services to all members of a congregation. Traditionally this was accompanied by “Remember you are dust and will return to dust,” but today it is more often accompanied with “Turn from sin and live the gospel”.

Ash Wednesday Christian Expectations

Christians are expected to engage in both fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday. Today only, Roman Catholics continue with the tradition of applying ashes on Ash Wednesday, using the ashes created by the burning of palm fronds from the previous Palm Sunday.

Tags

40 Days, Ash Wednesday, Blessing, Jesus Christ, Lent, Lenten Season, Ressurection, Ressurrection, Season Of Lent, Tradion

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks Jerry, I'll in touch soon to give you a heads up!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Mar 2014 (#)

OK, Fern.

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author avatar NBL Books
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Well written page, very informative and interesting. Nicely done! God bless you!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you NBL.
God bless you!

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
4th Mar 2014 (#)

I have learnt a lot from this article Jerry .As a Pentecostal we do not celebrate Ash Wednesday but Easter and all it represents means everything to me .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Stella for reading and commenting.
God bless you.

Jerry

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author avatar Songbird B
4th Mar 2014 (#)

A really informative article Jerry and an interesting and insightful read about Ash Wednesday and Lent. Great videos too my friend, and Star page. \0/x

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Bev.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Mar 2014 (#)

I am often disappointed when people say what they are giving up for Lent, it is suppose to be something meaningful that is hard to give up not something silly, such as "I wont eat ice cream.." and then think they made a huge sacrifice.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Good evening Mark. I agree completely.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Mar 2014 (#)

a most interesting read indeed Jerry...thank you so much...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

You're welcome Carolina

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Nice summary of the meaning behind Ash Wednesday, Jerry.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you, Connie.

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author avatar Euphonos
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Hello Jerry, Interesting stuff..I always get to know lots of informational and interesting things from your work :)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Good evening Shwetha. Thank you for reading and the compliments.

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author avatar vpaulose
5th Mar 2014 (#)

A deep study dear brother Jerry. The video "Disciples on the journey" excellent. How can we get such videos? Very inspiring. Thank you dear brother.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

They're all on You Tube. Just google your subject with you tube in the search If you meant "how do you get them to load in an article here on Wikinut, just place what comes after the = sign between html tags. The tag for a you tube video is yt. Put the yt between start brackets and stop brackets . Inserting you tube videos is covered in the advanced formatting tutorial.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Mar 2014 (#)

What a lovely informative page...thank you Jerry...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia for stopping by to read and comment.

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author avatar Maria Malone
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Never knew that ashes were a blessing, lots of information here, well done Jerry!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks, Maria.

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author avatar Dev Anand
18th Apr 2014 (#)

hello jerry, thank u for igniting and enlightening our minds with u wonderful article.God bless u and ur family.

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