Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Lent
By Katherine Miller
As the Mardi Gras season celebrations come to an end, many people around the world recognize the following day as Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday, recognized annually by many churches, is observed as a day that is solemn and reflective.
In ancient times, ashes were used to express mourning and dusting the body with ashes was used as a form of repentance.
Many churches still use this practice today as special services are held. Members of the congregation receive ashes on their foreheads as a sign of repentance. As the ashes are received, these scriptures from the biblical books of Genesis and Mark are recited, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.”
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season.
Lent is a period of time during the church year that includes the 40 days leading up to Easter. Practices used by many churches throughout this time of reflection and repentance include fasting, prayer and other chosen forms of penance.