Ash Wednesday: Start of the Lenten Season
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The start of the Lenten Season begins each year on the day after Mardi Gras, on what Christians call “Ash Wednesday”.
For Christians, Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and reflection on their mortality and spiritual lives.
Ashes are placed on foreheads in the shape of a cross as an outward sign of repentance, similar to how people in the Old Testament would cover themselves in ashes and sackcloth to show humility before God.
Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday, right before Easter Sunday. Christians are called to remember the 40 days of Jesus in the desert during this time, and as a spiritual preparation for the Easter Season.
Drive-thru ash events:
- The First United Methodist Church at 2727 Jackson Street will be offering drive-thru ashes on Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the circular drive on Jackson Street. All are welcome.
- Horseshoe Drive United Methodist Church will host their annual Ashes To Go at Tamp and Grind from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. on the corner of 4th Street and Desoto Street.
For Catholics, the ashes come from burned palms that were blessed from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Masses. Only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are required days of both fasting and abstaining from meat. However, meat must be removed from meals (abstinence) on every Friday in Lent.
It’s also tradition to give up something during Lent, such as sweets, or certain habits. Some choose to add on extra prayers or sacrifices.
Catholics can receive ashes at most Masses on Ash Wednesday.
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