What Is Ash Wednesday and What Happens?
Ash Wednesday is always 46 days before Easter Sunday and marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is traditionally a 40-day fast — a reference to the time Jesus spent being tempted in the desert — that seeks to prepare the heart of the believer for the solemn remembrance of Jesus’ death. It concludes and is followed by a joyous Easter Sunday celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
Ash Wednesday is a penitent service that uses ash to mark the sign of the cross on the believer’s forehead, symbolizing our sinful nature and need for salvation. The Catholic church usually uses the ashes of Palm Sunday branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service.
Future Ash Wednesday Dates:
February 22, 2023
February 14, 2024
March 5, 2025
February 18, 2026
Wednesday February 10, 2027
Does the Bible Say Anything about Ash Wednesday?
While the Bible does not mention the celebration of Ash Wednesday or command its practice, the Bible does mention ashes and dust in several places. The use of ashes in the Old Testament onward symbolized mourning, repentance, and the frailty of humanity.
“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” —Genesis 3:19