Rotorua | New Zealand


The Meaning of Ash Wednesday

Friday, February 24th, 2023 in News.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the liturgical season in the Catholic Church called LENT. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too.

Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes wearing ashes on the forehead. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. Lent is a 40-day season – not counting Sundays. It is marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration – which is Easter Sunday when we celebrate the risen Christ. The 40 days represent Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him.

During the Ash Wednesday Liturgy, ashes will be placed on the forehead in the shape of a cross – the person administering the ashes will say “Turn away from sin and return to the Gospels.” The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year.

The season of Lent marks the time when we focus our attention on;

Fasting – refraining from eating meat on Fridays during Lent

Prayer – focusing more on developing a stronger prayer life

Alms Giving – giving generously to charitable causes. These stunning photographs were taken by Bryony Edwards. Ka pai.