Ash Wednesday education

In case you saw a smudge on a buncha foreheads today and thought "the heck??"
  1. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent
    Lent is a 40 day period of fasting/giving things up that hinder your relationship with God. You can give up anything from chocolate to swearing, or add something into your life like going to church more or being more grateful.
  2. Catholics aren't the only ones that celebrate Ash Wednesday!
    While we may be the most known for celebrating this day and lent, a lot of Christian denominations recognize Ash Wednesday and participate in Lent.
  3. Why ashes?
    The ashes come from palm branches that were used in the precious year's Palm Sunday- the mass when we read about the death of Jesus. The ashes represent the belief that we are only dust and will one day return to dust. Often times, the priest says "remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return"
  4. So why 40 days?
    Because in each Gospel, there's a story that describes 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert while enduring temptations from the devil.
  5. Do you HAVE to go to mass on Ash Wednesday to be a good catholic?
    Nope, not actually! While most people do believe it's an important mass to go to, it's not a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning you don't technically have to attend.
  6. What do your ashes look like today?
    I'm glad you asked! Let me show you. This was a good day for my cross made of ashes. Most of the time it looks like an awkward dirt smudge. Also, it's a cross because, well, Jesus.
  7. Happy Ash Wednesday everybody!