Ash Wednesday 2018 marks the beginning of the Lent season. Find answers related to when Ash Wednesday 2018 is and what it is all about right here.
“Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” – Genesis 3.19
The above Bible verse explains what Ash Wednesday is in a subtle sense. The Ash Wednesday is also known as Dies cinerum, that means, Day of Ashes. It marks the start of Lent and continues for 46 days before Easter. If you do not take Sundays into consideration, then it occurs for 40 days. People fast during these days as a mark of repentance and penitence. What is Ash Wednesday in a clear sense? What do I mean by repentance and penitence? When is Ash Wednesday 2018? These and many other questions related to Ash Wednesday will be answered in this article.
What is Ash Wednesday?
Western Christianity says, the first day of Lent, is marked by Ash Wednesday. It is a Christian festival celebrated in preparation of the another important Christian celebration, Easter. During these days, one observes fast and becomes spiritually disciplined. Lent is observed by Christian denominations that include the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican as well as the Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox denominations do not observe Ash Wednesday and begin Lent on Mondays.
When is Ash Wednesday 2018?
Ash Wednesday occurs on a different date every year. The date generally occurs between February 4 (or February 5 in case of leap years) and March 10. Ash Wednesday 2018 falls on February 14th.
Why is it known as Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is said to be a day of repentance. It is said, in ancient times ashes were used to mourn. People dusted themselves with ashes and expressed their sorrow regarding the sins they committed. Ashes are a symbol of being sorry, that is, repentance by Christians for the things they have done wrong. Ashes also help them remember that all have come from ashes and will be returned to ashes one day.
What does Ash Wednesday stand for?
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the wandering of Jesus Christ in the desert to fast and pray. It was during this time of wandering, he was tempted. It ends on Easter Sunday, the day Jesus Christ was resurrected from death. When the ‘paschal’ full moon appears in the sky, that is the first full moon that rises on or after the vernal, or spring equinox, Easter Sunday is celebrated.
Why are Ashes Marked on the Forehead of Observers?
The forehead of the faithful is marked with a cross sign made from ashes. It is done to mark commitment to God and the son of God, that is Jesus Christ.
What do the Ashes Contain?
Ashes are made from burning the palm from the previous years Palm Sunday. These ashes of burnt palm are then mixed with Holy Water or olive oil and made into a paste. When the faithful arrive, the priest uses it to mark their forehead with the ashes in the sign of a cross using his thumb.
Why are Palms from the Previous Years Palm Sunday Used?
The triumph of Jesus entering into Jerusalem is celebrated on Palm Sunday. The palms burned from the previous years celebrations, remind the faithful about the defeat and crucifixion of Jesus Christ that followed after the triumph. These ashes thus, symbolize the death of Christ and his resurrection, that means, all Christians can be freed from sin by repentance.
What Rituals are Followed During Ash Wednesday?
A Mass is held on Ash Wednesday and ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful. If the person is clergy, the ashes are imposed on the tonsure spots. The priest or minister makes a mark in the shape of a cross on the forehead of the faithful. This mark is not washed off and is retained till it wears off on its own.
While making the mark, the priest or minister may speak the following verses:
‘Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. – Genesis 3:19
Repent, and hear the good news. – Mark 1:1
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. – Mark 1:15
People fast on this day, and observe abstinence from meat and repent for one’s sins and faults. People between the age of 18 years to 59 years who are healthy are permitted to consume one full meal by the Roman Catholic church. Some people fast for the whole of Lent period and end their abstinence after Easter Vigil.
This was some information related to Ash Wednesday 2018 date. There is no mention of Ash Wednesday in the Holy Bible, therefore, not many Christians observe this day. The last day of the Carnival season called the Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is always followed by Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Hope all ‘ye faithfuls’ have learned some useful information about Ash Wednesday 2018 here.