Ash Wednesday

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Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which ends on Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and those that observe the season of Lent, often give up an indulgence during this time of prayer and observance.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of using ashes made from palm branches which were blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday is the observance of Jesus riding into the city while people waved palm branches at him. 

Palm Sunday occurs the Sunday before Easter. 

For Ash Wednesday the ashes are ceremoniously placed on the forehead, often in the sign of the cross.  However, some cultures may prefer sprinkling the ashes over their heads.

In ancient Biblical times, ashes were used as a symbol to express grief.  Christians have continued the practice of using ashes as an expression of repentance.

There are many denominations that practice Ash Wednesday including the Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians and the Church of England.

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