Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent and is the first of the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. During the season of Lent, Christians traditionally engage in three practices: prayer; fasting; alms-giving. The ashes used in the liturgy on Ash Wednesday are traditionally made from the palms used on Palm Sunday from the previous year. When the minister applies the cross of ashes, they say to the worshiper:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Or they say "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." (Mark 1:15)

For young children we can tell them simply that ashes are placed on our foreheads to remind us that someday we will die and go home to heaven. It is not required that a worshiper wear the ashes for the rest of the day, although many Christians choose to do so.


Joel 2:12-18    Let your hearts be broken and not your garments torn

Responsorial Psalm 50:3-6, 12-14, 17. R.  Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

2 Cor 5:20 – 6:2  Be reconciled to God, now is the acceptable time.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

Matt 6:1-6, 16-18       Your Father, who sees all that is done in secret, will reward you.