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Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding of Lent
American Catholic ^ | February 2004 | American Catholic.org

Posted on 02/09/2005 5:33:48 AM PST by kellynla

Those who work with liturgy in parishes know that some of the largest crowds in the year will show up to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Though this is not a holy day of obligation in our tradition, many people would not think of letting Ash Wednesday go by without a trip to church to be marked with an ashen cross on their foreheads. Even people who seldom come to Church for the rest of the year may make a concerted effort to come for ashes.

How did this practice become such an important part of the lives of so many believers? Who came up with the idea for this rather odd ritual? How do we explain the popularity of smudging our foreheads with ashes and then walking around all day with dirty faces? Those who do not share our customs often make a point of telling us that we have something on our foreheads, assuming we would want to wash it off, but many Catholics wear that smudge faithfully all day.

Ashes in the Bible

The origin of the custom of using ashes in religious ritual is lost in the mists of pre-history, but we find references to the practice in our own religious tradition in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah, for example, calls for repentance this way: "O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes" (Jer 6:26).

(Excerpt) Read more at americancatholic.org ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent

1 posted on 02/09/2005 5:33:49 AM PST by kellynla
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To: All

Another interesting piece can be found here:
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/MardiGras/default.asp
It explains the Catholic roots of Mardi Gras(Fat Tuesday)


2 posted on 02/09/2005 5:38:56 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: kellynla

According to our parish priest, Ash Wednesday surpasses Easter and Christmas for attendance.


3 posted on 02/09/2005 5:41:49 AM PST by starfish923
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To: starfish923
My 28th birthday fell on Ash Wednessday this year!


A Very Merry Unbirthday To You!

4 posted on 02/09/2005 5:45:10 AM PST by Jay777 (Gen. Tommy Franks for President in 08)
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To: starfish923

what my mother would refer to as "A&P" Catholics...Ash Wednesday & Palm Sunday!


5 posted on 02/09/2005 5:46:50 AM PST by SAMS (Army wife & Marine Mom)
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To: starfish923

Well I don't know about that consdiering the number of Masses on Easter and Christmas where unless you get there early you don't get a seat...I don't think you'll have that problem on today. LOL


6 posted on 02/09/2005 5:47:45 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: kellynla

Well, I'm going to the 6:30 A.M. Mass; I won't have a problem with space.


7 posted on 02/09/2005 5:48:57 AM PST by starfish923
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To: Jay777

Happy Birthday!
And I trust you will go get ashes as part of your celebration...


8 posted on 02/09/2005 5:50:15 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: kellynla

I always get a lump in my throat: "Remember, thou art dust, and unto dust thou shall return"


9 posted on 02/09/2005 5:50:52 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: SAMS

It's the same in any religion -- some attend services, some don't. Catholics KNOW that they are supposed to...and still don't. They don't get it that the honor of being able to receive the body and blood of their Maker is unique for all religions. They are cavalier about it and take the lazy path.


10 posted on 02/09/2005 5:51:19 AM PST by starfish923
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To: starfish923

Most do attend and understand so please don't generalize like that.


11 posted on 02/09/2005 5:52:12 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: kellynla

Well, I'm not Catholic, so would they still ash me? I went to a Catholic service once, and the priest said I couldn't partake of the Lord's supper. He said all he could do was bless me.


12 posted on 02/09/2005 5:54:40 AM PST by Jay777 (Gen. Tommy Franks for President in 08)
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To: kellynla
As a child I remember my teacher, a nun, asked all of us 8 year olds what we were giving up for lent. All across the room the answer was "Batman". The nun finally asked why we were giving up Batman. A little boy in my class finally fessed up that Batman was on at 6:00 (mst time) and all the dads wouldn't let us watch the tv because news was on.

Needless to say it turned out that we had to give up candy again.
13 posted on 02/09/2005 5:56:07 AM PST by Republican Red (DU: ''Reality sucks. That's the problem. We want another reality.'')
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To: kellynla

Those who do not share our customs often make a point of telling us that we have something on our foreheads, assuming we would want to wash it off, but many Catholics wear that smudge faithfully all day.


When I came in the military was the first time I saw this, and I made that mistake. I told someone they had something on there forehead. It was an honest mistake. They were nice, and explained what it was.


14 posted on 02/09/2005 5:57:04 AM PST by Jay777 (Gen. Tommy Franks for President in 08)
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To: Jay777

You can certainly receive ashes.
And you just might enjoy the service.


15 posted on 02/09/2005 5:57:08 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: All

Remember you are dust...


16 posted on 02/09/2005 6:01:17 AM PST by NYURepublican
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To: Jay777
Well, I'm not Catholic, so would they still ash me?

Yes. We "ash" everybody who comes up.

17 posted on 02/09/2005 6:04:36 AM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur

Well, maybe I'll see what I can do at lunch time.


18 posted on 02/09/2005 6:05:35 AM PST by Jay777 (Gen. Tommy Franks for President in 08)
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To: sinkspur

The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3).
Jesus made reference to ashes, "If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago" (Matthew 11:21).
In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return."
The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, "Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return," or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.


19 posted on 02/09/2005 6:06:43 AM PST by todd1
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To: cyncooper
Most do attend and understand so please don't generalize like that.

Interesting. YOU just wrote a sweeping generalization yourself. Perhaps you are unaware of it.
Please don't tell me what to do. Thank you.

20 posted on 02/09/2005 6:17:36 AM PST by starfish923
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To: Jay777

There is a distinction between receiving the body of Christ (the Eucharist) and having ashes placed on the forehead. Down here in the country even non-Catholics occasionally come for what the call their Baptist ashes.
IOW, yes, you can have ashes.


21 posted on 02/09/2005 6:42:47 AM PST by Shisan (Jalisco no te rajes.)
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To: starfish923
I said "most" which is not a sweeping generalization.

What you said:

Catholics KNOW that they are supposed to...and still don't. They don't get it that the honor of being able to receive the body and blood of their Maker is unique for all religions. They are cavalier about it and take the lazy path.

Was the sweeping generalization which I kindly pointed out. I am very precise in what I say (usually) and so I realize exactly what you and I both said.

22 posted on 02/09/2005 6:46:57 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: kellynla

Mackerel snapper reporting for ashes. :-}


23 posted on 02/09/2005 6:52:28 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07

:-]

carry on...I'll be in the area all day!

Semper Fi,
Kelly


24 posted on 02/09/2005 6:53:45 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: All
 Lent 2005, Prayer, Reflection, Action for All

Reflections for Lent: February 6 -- March 27, 2005

Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding of Lent

The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

[Suffering] His Pain Like Mine

Lent and Fasting

Ash Wednesday

All About Lent

Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children

Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]


25 posted on 02/09/2005 7:03:22 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Reflection.
The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3).

Jesus  made reference to ashes, "If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago" (Matthew 11:21).
In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return."

The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, "Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return," or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.

26 posted on 02/09/2005 7:04:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-09-05, Ash Wednesday
27 posted on 02/09/2005 7:09:59 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cyncooper

I know you probably did not intentionally do this, but the phrase goes: Remember, MAN, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return. In Latin, it reads: "Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris."

I am sick of the gender-neutralizing forces at work in the Church, so I had to make a point of stating the above.


28 posted on 02/09/2005 7:12:28 AM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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To: kellynla

Although Ash Wednesday is not a Catholic holy day of obligation, it is an important part of the season of Lent. The first clear evidence of Ash Wednesday is around 960, and in the 12th century people began using palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday for ashes.

Catholic Update

Each issue carries an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Reprinting prohibited


Ash Wednesday
Our Shifting Understanding of Lent

Those who work with liturgy in parishes know that some of the largest crowds in the year will show up to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Though this is not a holy day of obligation in our tradition, many people would not think of letting Ash Wednesday go by without a trip to church to be marked with an ashen cross on their foreheads. Even people who seldom come to Church for the rest of the year may make a concerted effort to come for ashes.

How did this practice become such an important part of the lives of so many believers? Who came up with the idea for this rather odd ritual? How do we explain the popularity of smudging our foreheads with ashes and then walking around all day with dirty faces? Those who do not share our customs often make a point of telling us that we have something on our foreheads, assuming we would want to wash it off, but many Catholics wear that smudge faithfully all day.

Ashes in the Bible

The origin of the custom of using ashes in religious ritual is lost in the mists of pre-history, but we find references to the practice in our own religious tradition in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah, for example, calls for repentance this way: "O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes" (Jer 6:26).

The prophet Isaiah, on the other hand, critiques the use of sackcloth and ashes as inadequate to please God, but in the process he indicates that this practice was well-known in Israel: "Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance: that a man bow his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?" (Is 58:5).

The prophet Daniel pleaded for God to rescue Israel with sackcloth and ashes as a sign of Israel's repentance: "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes" (Dn 9:3).

Perhaps the best known example of repentance in the Old Testament also involves sackcloth and ashes. When the prophet Jonah finally obeyed God's command and preached in the great city of Nineveh, his preaching was amazingly effective. Word of his message was carried to the king of Nineveh. "When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes" (Jon 3:6).

In the book of Judith, we find acts of repentance that specify that the ashes were put on people's heads: "And all the Israelite men, women and children who lived in Jerusalem prostrated themselves in front of the temple building, with ashes strewn on their heads, displaying their sackcloth covering before the Lord" (Jdt 4:11; see also 4:15 and 9:1).

Just prior to the New Testament period, the rebels fighting for Jewish independence, the Maccabees, prepared for battle using ashes: "That day they fasted and wore sackcloth; they sprinkled ashes on their heads and tore their clothes" (1 Mc 3:47; see also 4:39).

In the New Testament, Jesus refers to the use of sackcloth and ashes as signs of repentance: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes" (Mt 11:21, Lk 10:13).

Ashes in the History of the Church

Despite all these references in Scripture, the use of ashes in the Church left only a few records in the first millennium of Church history. Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960. Before that time, ashes had been used as a sign of admission to the Order of Penitents. As early as the sixth century, the Spanish Mozarabic rite calls for signing the forehead with ashes when admitting a gravely ill person to the Order of Penitents. At the beginning of the 11th century, Abbot Aelfric notes that it was customary for all the faithful to take part in a ceremony on the Wednesday before Lent that included the imposition of ashes. Near the end of that century, Pope Urban II called for the general use of ashes on that day. Only later did this day come to be called Ash Wednesday.

At first, clerics and men had ashes sprinkled on their heads, while women had the sign of the cross made with ashes on their foreheads. Eventually, of course, the ritual used with women came to be used for men as well.

In the 12th century the rule developed that the ashes were to be created by burning palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. Many parishes today invite parishioners to bring such palms to church before Lent begins and have a ritual burning of the palms after Mass.

The Order of Penitents

It seems, then, that our use of ashes at the beginning of Lent is an extension of the use of ashes with those entering the Order of Penitents. This discipline was the way the Sacrament of Penance was celebrated through most of the first millennium of Church history. Those who had committed serious sins confessed their sins to the bishop or his representative and were assigned a penance that was to be carried out over a period of time. After completing their penance, they were reconciled by the bishop with a prayer of absolution offered in the midst of the community.

During the time they worked out their penances, the penitents often had special places in church and wore special garments to indicate their status. Like the catechumens who were preparing for Baptism, they were often dismissed from the Sunday assembly after the Liturgy of the Word.

This whole process was modeled on the conversion journey of the catechumens, because the Church saw falling into serious sin after Baptism as an indication that a person had not really been converted. Penance was a second attempt to foster that conversion. Early Church fathers even called Penance a "second Baptism."

Lent developed in the Church as the whole community prayed and fasted for the catechumens who were preparing for Baptism. At the same time, those members of the community who were already baptized prepared to renew their baptismal promises at Easter, thus joining the catechumens in seeking to deepen their own conversion. It was natural, then, that the Order of Penitents also focused on Lent, with reconciliation often being celebrated on Holy Thursday so that the newly reconciled could share in the liturgies of the Triduum. With Lent clearly a season focused on Baptism, Penance found a home there as well.

Shifting Understanding of Lent

With the disappearance of the catechumenate from the Church's life, people's understanding of the season of Lent changed. By the Middle Ages, the emphasis was no longer clearly baptismal. Instead, the main emphasis shifted to the passion and death of Christ. Medieval art reflected this increased focus on the suffering Savior; so did popular piety. Lent came to be seen as a time to acknowledge our guilt for the sins that led to Christ's passion and death. Repentance was then seen as a way to avoid punishment for sin more than as a way to renew our baptismal commitment.

With the gradual disappearance of the Order of Penitents, the use of ashes became detached from its original context. The focus on personal penance and the Sacrament of Penance continued in Lent, but the connection to Baptism was no longer obvious to most people. This is reflected in the formula that came to be associated with the distribution of ashes: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return." This text focuses on our mortality, as an incentive to take seriously the call to repentance, but there is little hint here of any baptismal meaning. This emphasis on mortality fit well with the medieval experience of life, when the threat of death was always at hand. Many people died very young, and the societal devastation of the plague made death even more prevalent.

Ash Wednesday After Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called for the renewal of Lent, recovering its ancient baptismal character. This recovery was significantly advanced by the restoration of the catechumenate mandated by the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (1972). As Catholics have increasingly interacted with catechumens in the final stage of their preparation for Baptism, they have begun to understand Lent as a season of baptismal preparation and baptismal renewal.

Since Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, it naturally is also beginning to recover a baptismal focus. One hint of this is the second formula that is offered for the imposition of ashes: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." Though it doesn't explicitly mention Baptism, it recalls our baptismal promises to reject sin and profess our faith. It is a clear call to conversion, to that movement away from sin and toward Christ that we have to embrace over and over again through our lives.

As the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday calls us to the conversion journey that marks the season. As the catechumens enter the final stage of their preparation for the Easter sacraments, we are all called to walk with them so that we will be prepared to renew our baptismal promises when Easter arrives.

The Readings for Ash Wednesday

The readings assigned to Ash Wednesday highlight this call to conversion. The first reading from the prophet Joel is a clarion call to return to the Lord "with fasting, and weeping and mourning." Joel reminds us that our God is "gracious and merciful...slow to anger, rich in kindness and relenting in punishment," thus inviting us to trust in God's love as we seek to renew our life with God. It is important to note that Joel does not call only for individual conversion. His appeal is to the whole people, so he commands: "Blow the trumpet in Zion, proclaim a fast, call an assembly; gather the people, notify the congregation; assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast." As we enter this season of renewal, we are united with all of God's people, for we all share the need for continued conversion and we are called to support one another on the journey. Imitating those who joined the Order of Penitents in ages past, we all become a community of penitents seeking to grow closer to God through repentance and renewal.

With a different tone but no less urgency, St. Paul implores us in the second reading to "be reconciled to God." "Now," he insists, "is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." The time to return to the Lord is now, this holy season, this very day.

The Gospel for Ash Wednesday gives us good advice on how we are to act during Lent. Jesus speaks of the three main disciplines of the season: giving alms, praying and fasting. All of these spiritual activities, Jesus teaches us, are to be done without any desire for recognition by others. The point is not that we should only pray alone and not in community, for example, but that we should not pray in order to be seen as holy. The same is true of fasting and works of charity; they do not need to be hidden but they are to be done out of love of God and neighbor, not in order to be seen by others.

There is a certain irony that we use this Gospel, which tells us to wash our faces so that we do not appear to be doing penance on the day that we go around with "dirt" on our foreheads. This is just another way Jesus is telling us not to perform religious acts for public recognition. We don't wear the ashes to proclaim our holiness but to acknowledge that we are a community of sinners in need of repentance and renewal.

From Ashes to the Font

The call to continuing conversion reflected in these readings is also the message of the ashes. We move through Lent from ashes to the baptismal font. We dirty our faces on Ash Wednesday and are cleansed in the waters of the font. More profoundly, we embrace the need to die to sin and selfishness at the beginning of Lent so that we can come to fuller life in the Risen One at Easter.

When we receive ashes on our foreheads, we remember who we are. We remember that we are creatures of the earth ("Remember that you are dust"). We remember that we are mortal beings ("and to dust you will return"). We remember that we are baptized. We remember that we are people on a journey of conversion ("Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel"). We remember that we are members of the body of Christ (and that smudge on our foreheads will proclaim that identity to others, too).

Renewing our sense of who we really are before God is the core of the Lenten experience. It is so easy to forget, and thus we fall into habits of sin, ways of thinking and living that are contrary to God's will. In this we are like the Ninevites in the story of Jonah. It was "their wickedness" that caused God to send Jonah to preach to them. Jonah resisted that mission and found himself in deep water. Rescued by a large fish, Jonah finally did God's bidding and began to preach in Nineveh. His preaching obviously fell on open ears and hearts, for in one day he prompted the conversion of the whole city.

From the very beginning of Lent, God's word calls us to conversion. If we open our ears and hearts to that word, we will be like the Ninevites not only in their sinfulness but also in their conversion to the Lord. That, simply put, is the point of Ash Wednesday!

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.

In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy.

As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Lawrence E. Mick is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He holds a master's degree in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame. He is author of over 500 articles in various publications. His latest books are Forming the Assembly to Celebrate Eucharist and Forming the Assembly to Celebrate Sacraments (Liturgy Training Publications).


29 posted on 02/09/2005 7:17:54 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Ash alert! ;-)


30 posted on 02/09/2005 7:26:21 AM PST by Romulus (Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?)
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To: kellynla
Best wishes and prayers for a good and holy fast for all you Latins and protestants( who are starting really early this year.

Struggle well.

31 posted on 02/09/2005 12:35:03 PM PST by The_Reader_David
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To: The_Reader_David

Since you teach at Kansas State, what's your take on the Churchill issue at Colorado U???
Is Kansas State loaded with commies teaching there?


32 posted on 02/09/2005 12:39:50 PM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: cyncooper
"Most" IS a sweeping generalization, imho. I was even more careful than you because I did NOT put "most, all," or any numberical value on what I said.
And you still were telling me what to do. When did YOU become the arbiter of my thoughts?
Also, how do YOU know that MOST Catholics ...etc.?? There aren't any numbers on what Catholics know and don't know. One simply reads about attendance. There is no way for anyone to KNOW what others are thinking.
What you said is as much of an opinion as what I said. So I am as right as you think you are.
And....I didn't barge in on your conversation to scold you.
We are all entitled to our OPINIONS, WITHOUT being subject to the "thought police."
33 posted on 02/09/2005 1:18:06 PM PST by starfish923
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To: starfish923

Well!

I hope you feel better.


34 posted on 02/09/2005 1:20:51 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: jrny
I know you probably did not intentionally do this, but the phrase goes: Remember, MAN, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return. In Latin, it reads: "Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris."
I am sick of the gender-neutralizing forces at work in the Church, so I had to make a point of stating the above.

Lol. Regarding your message to cyncooper. And pleae pardon me for barging in on this dialogue.
He barged into MY conversation and was JUST telling me how CAREFUL he is in what he writes. He was scolding me and being the thought police. Now, I see that I was correct and his thinking IS careless. He's just a wanna be wordsmeister.
Lol. Perhaps he was UNINTENTIONALLY scolding me and didn't intend on being such a picker of nits. If he is that way, he should be far more careful in his thinking.

Btw, I am also sick of the gender-neutralizing forces at work.

35 posted on 02/09/2005 1:28:58 PM PST by starfish923
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To: cyncooper
Well! I hope you feel better.

Wrong again. This isn't about feelings. It's just about ideas and the expression of ideas...without the intrusion of thought police. Nothing more.
Perhaps YOUR feelings were involved. Mine certainly weren't.

36 posted on 02/09/2005 1:31:22 PM PST by starfish923
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To: starfish923

I'm not the one yelling and getting all bent out of shape...


37 posted on 02/09/2005 1:41:50 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper
I'm not the one yelling and getting all bent out of shape...

Lol. Wrong again.
You just can't seem to get it.
I simply won't let you get away with what seems to be your s.o.p., skewed logic, bullying, misinterpreting and butting into conversations where you are obviously unwanted and univited.

Now, you just bore me.
Time to move on. But, feel free to continue whining, winging and nitpicking. It seems to be your raison d'etre. You are on MY ignore list.
Have a lovely day.

38 posted on 02/10/2005 5:21:45 AM PST by starfish923
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To: starfish923

Almost a full day passes and you feel the need to comment again, yet I bore you. I think you got a bee in your bonnet and need to chill out.


39 posted on 02/10/2005 5:42:36 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: starfish923; jrny
Both are absolutely correct, so I was not in error, rude and wrong starfish923. I did not respond to jrny's courteous pointing to another source, but when I receive ashes this is what I hear:

" Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."
Gn. 3:19

Looking in my Holy Bible (Catholic Edition) I see under Gn 3:19:

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Posting on a thread is not "barging" into anything. And for the record, I am not for gender neutralizing or gender role shifting. For example, I am not in favor of girls being altar servers.

40 posted on 02/10/2005 6:47:50 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

I just looked at the Vulgate rendering, and you are correct. In Genesis, the word "homo" is not there, but the context of the passage is clearly understood that God is talked to Adam (a.k.a. man, mankind). The word "homo" is inserted in the actual liturgical formula for the distribution of ashes, since the verse is taken out of its "context" so to speak. In any case, the gender-neutralizers (feminists) conveniently add and delete words from the actual liturgical formulae based on their personal whims.


41 posted on 02/10/2005 7:07:50 AM PST by jrny (Tenete traditionem quam tradidi vobis)
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