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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

As a Christian, I confess that I am forever doing research and learning about religion.  Not just my own, but comparing and learning about others.  Whether it's because I've never really learned some things, or because of my memory-insufficiency, I have to constantly remind myself of the details.  I am 99.9% positive that I do not stand alone in this learning process.  As you may or may not know, I am not a person of words.  Not my own, anyway. 
So here is my refresher on Ash Wednesday and what I have 'relearned'.  Some old information; some new.  All interesting and worth holding onto.

Ash Wednesday
~The seventh Wednesday before Easter
~The first day of Lent for most Christians
~The season of Lent lasts 46 days (40 week days + 6 Sundays)
~The day after "Fat Tuesday"
~Frequently observed as a day of fasting and repentence for sin
~In some churches, ashes are placed on the oreheads of worshipers on Ash Wednesday as a reminder of their mortality
~The words of God to Adam in the Bible are often used in the service:
(from The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy)

"Ash Wednesday"
by Carl Spitzweg
(from Wikipedia.org)

"Only by the grace of God's healing hand is any of us mended.  In the many circumstances of life, our response to that grace is what matters.  Lent is the season to Repent, and believe in the good news
 (Mark 1:15)  Healing , like sanctification, is a process; and it cannot be rushed.  We submit, trust, and wait on the Lord.  God will deliver."
Responding to God's grace
will keep us busy for the rest of our lives.
(from The Upper Room daily devotional)

In the Republic of Ireland, Ash Wednesday is National No Smoking Day.  The date was chosen because quitting smoking ties in with giving up luxury for Lent.


Jessica said...

Can you believe it's already Lent? It snuck up on me this year. Ash Wednesday is an interesting day in the church - I wish we were having a service this year.

5thsister said...

Oh Weezer...we are all a work in progress aren't we? You'll hear all about my fasting and penance in tomorrow's post. Let me just say, as a teaser, God has a sense of humor and knows me too well...he'd knew I'd try to cheat on my fast! I'm going back to bed now.