A reply to request for education on the meaning of Ash Wednesday

Remember that from you are dust and to dust you shall return

To the Expositor:

A note to Brother Scott

I wish to respond to your inquiry as to the significance of Ash Wednesday (‘The traditions of Christianity are fading away very fast,’ March 4, Page 4).

In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed at the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration, and placing them on the foreheads of participants in the form of the cross, to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes we bear on our foreheads mark us as willing travelers on this journey of faith.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten discipline for observant Christians. It is traditionally a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for reaffirming our baptism at Easter. For some Christians, Lent is a time to think about one’s life choices and mortality, as well as reflect on life directions. It serves as a wakeup call for some Christians. There are also those who choose this time of the year to donate to charities or take part in charity events as a way to get close to God.

Our Lenten journey’s daily readings of Old Testament prophecies and good news gospel lessons strengthens our faith and beliefs during the Easter Lenten season.

This information is readily available on the Internet. They do though reflect my understanding and beliefs. When I deny myself during Lent of that piece of pie, a brew or a glass of wine it reminds me of the sacrifice that was made for me.


Dave Sylvester

Little Current