Facts For Kids About Ash WednesdayThe ashes come from palms that were burned from the previous Palm Sunday—the Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where people waved palm branches to celebrate his arrival. The ashes are typically mixed with holy water or oil.
The ashes serve as a reminder of humans’ sinfulness and the need for penance. The person, distributing the ashes says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return” or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” There is no rule about how long the ashes should be worn, but many people wear them throughout the day as a public expression of their faith. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation.
Catholics abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. Here are some meatless recipes for this Lenten season.
Catholics ages 18 to 59 also fast on Ash Wednesday. Fasting entails eating one regular-size meal and two smToday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of the season of Lent. And so in honor of those who are marking this day, we present five things to know about Ash Wednesday.all meals.
Ash Wednesday is the day that Lent begins (see:
The name comes from the fact that a particular rite is always celebrated on this Wednesday in which the faithful have ashes put on their foreheads.
According to the Roman Missal:
In the course of today’s Mass, ashes are blessed and distributed.
These are made from the olive branches or branches of other trees that were blessed the previous year [on Palm/Passion Sunday].
125. In the Roman Rite, the beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the austere symbol of ashes which are used in the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday.
The use of ashes is a survival from an ancient rite according to which converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance.
The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God.
Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent.