What is Lent?
Lent is the period preceding Easter that in the Christian Church is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in the commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. Lent is a 40-day period, excluding Sundays. It runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.
Here at The Park, we will have worship services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday.
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the six Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter. Ash Wednesday is observed by many Western Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, United Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and some Baptists.
Where do the ashes come from?
Typically, the ashes that are placed on the forehead of the individual come from branches used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday services, which fall one week before Easter and commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
The palms themselves don’t necessarily come from the Holy Land, but instead from various religious suppliers around the country.
What do the ashes on the forehead represent?
The ashes are a profound symbolism for observers. Ash Wednesday is not an official “holy day of obligation” for Catholics, but it is a deeply ingrained tradition, even for people who may not be particularly Catholic, but other Christians.
Dr. Sheron C. Patterson