Ash Wednesday 1 March, 2017
Next Wednesday (! March) is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.
It is a day of fast and abstinence. Mass including the blessing and distribution of ashes will be celebrated in St Mary’ Church, Cranny on Wednesday at 9.30am and in St Michael’s Church, Kildysart at 8pm.
Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday is a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from the palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the foreheads of Christians to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.