A visible sign of repentance and renewal
Ash Wednesday is the first day in the season of Lent. It is a day of fasting and prayer and a time when we can publicly confess the sin that entangles us.
The ashes of this first day in Lent are a symbol that has been derived from several ancient customs. In the Old Testament, people put on sackcloth and ashes when they were in mourning. As far back as the third century, ashes were worn on the body as a visible sign of sin and a public request for forgiveness. Ashes were also used as a cleanser when soap was not available. And, farmers would burn off their fields in the spring, turning dried stubble to ash before new planting began. So, ashes are a symbol of repentance and renewal.
From Before and After Easter by Debbie Trafton O'Neal
Ash Wednesday service 6:30PM at the Pilney Building.