Swapnil Sansar. Lucknow.
Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent in Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the six Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter and can fall as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. Ash Wednesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and some Baptists.
According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan.Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday was seen as a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (six days) during six weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (four days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.
यह भी पढ़िए
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians on Ash Wednesday, either by being sprinkled over their heads or, more often by being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross. The words (based on Genesis 3:19) used traditionally to accompany this gesture are, “Memento, homo, quia pulvises, et in pulverem reverteris.” (“Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”) In the 1969 revision of the Roman Rite, an alternative formula (based on Mark 1:15) was introduced and given first place “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” and the older formula was translated as “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The old formula, based on the words spoken to Adam and Eve after their sin, reminds worshipers of their sinfulness and mortality and thus, implicitly, of their need to repent in time.The newer formula makes explicit what was only implicit in the old.