Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ash Wednesday

It is the first day of Lent and the frivolity of Mardi Gras stops.  A friend travelling in Columbia sent an e-mail today saying she saw people on the streets wearing black felt crosses on their foreheads. She asked them why and was told it was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Ours are just made of dust and ashes from burning last year's leftover palm leaves from Palm Sunday 2013.  They are mixed with holy water and stirred to make a paste for this year.  I used this picture last year too as there is something about this child that is intriquing.  I wonder what he is thinking.  (It is from Google Images)

We are expected to leave the church in silence and meditation.  It is not a socializing time.  For some reason the cross on my forehead felt heavy this year.  Weird.  I didn't manage to get home without smudging it so couldn't even take a picture.  I don't know how long one is supposed to leave it on the forehead.  I should have asked.  I will wash it off before bed I guess. 

It is also a period to let our light shine out in the world and be a blessing to others.


  1. The ashes at our church are made the same way, Karyn, but I think some kind of oil is also added. I don't think there is any rule on how long to keep the ashes on your forehead. It is always a sobering ceremony, though.

  2. Finally caught up with all your fascinating activities. I haven't heard of the practice of black crosses on foreheads - interesting.

    1. Well this is an Anglican thing on the evening of Ash Wednesday. I thought the ritual came from England. Now I have to do more research.