Service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes
• What is Ash Wednesday and Lent? Ash Wednesday is one of the most important holy days in the Church year. It begins the season of Lent with a solemn call to fasting, repentance, and spiritual discipline as we begin our journey to Easter.
• Why Ash? The ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting gave birth to the use of ashes. The practice included the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the same dust from which God made human beings. Worshipers have ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of the cross as the words from Genesis 3:19 are spoken: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
• Where do we get the ashes? The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday.
• Why do we make a Cross with the ashes? As a sign of our human mortality and our need for humility.