Christians ready for first day of LentPublished 9:31am Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Many Christians will mark the beginning of Lent Wednesday with a special service and the customary crosses of ash drawn on their foreheads.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day period of prayer and fasting. The ash comes from the burned palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
“We begin with the blessing of ashes and place them on the forehead to signify mortality,” Father David Huffman, St. Joseph Church, said. “They are made from the palm of last year, old and brittle. We burn it to make ashes, reminding we came from dust, and into dust we return.”
The 40 days of Lent finds its Biblical roots in the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, which according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, follow his baptism in the River Jordan.
Huffman said it is important people take this time to put their priorities first and put their faith in God.