Written by Emily Meneses
Many people who know little about the Chrstian faith are not aware of one of the biggest and important celebrations leading up to Easter, especially in the Roman Catholic Church. Ash Wednesday represents the beginning of the 40 days of Lent.
Lent is a season during which many Christian demoninations get prepared to celebrate Easter, which is the day of the resurrection of Jesus.
During Ash Wednesday (in accordance with the Catholic Church), those who are faithful abstain (from eating meat) or even fast. The reason being this is the day Jesus began his 40 day trek through the desert.
During the mass, the parishoners gather and celebrate with a reading from the book of Psalms. The essence of the somber mood is taken in by the religous and at the end of the celebration, the preist begins to mark the people with the sign of the cross with ashes.
What is used for the ashes are the remanants of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
The parishoners are to leave the church in silence, officially marking the beginning of this Lenten time of penance and charity, ending Ash Wednesday.