Christians Mark Ash Wednesday Today
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Its official name is “Day of Ashes,” so called because of the practice of rubbing ashes on one’s forehead in the sign of a cross. Since it is exactly 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday.
Lent is treated as a period of reflection and a time for fasting from food and festivities.
It symbolises the days which lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, when Christ spent 40 days and nights alone in the Judaean Desert being tempted by Satan.
The period is observed by most Catholics and some Protestant denominations. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not observe Ash Wednesday; instead, they start Lent on “Clean Monday.”
Speaking on the essence of the season, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu explained, “At this period of lent, we are all expected to draw nearer God by constant prayer, forsaken sin and being at peace with our fellow men.
“It is a season of renewal of our faith in our creator by renouncing all fleshy desires that tend to weigh us down and purifying our spirit for the greater glory of God.
“But it should not just end at this lent season. Our prayer is that the fruit of the season would continue to germinate and bear more fruit in our daily lives.”
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