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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days before Easter, being the 40 fasting days of Lent plus six Sundays, which are seen as feast days.

The name of Ash Wednesday comes from the practice of placing ashes from palm branches on the heads of Christian worshipers,

Observers 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.”

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday.

Although there is no Biblical reference to Ash Wednesday or Lent, Christians date the tradition back to 325 AD.

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