Posted on Thu, Feb 11, 2010
Imposition of ashes and Holy Communion
As you know, Jesus retreated into the wilderness and fasted for forty days to prepare for his ministry. It was for Him a time of contemplation, reflection, and preparation. By observing Lent, most Christians join Jesus on His retreat. Lent consists of the forty days before Easter. In the western Church, we skip over the Sundays when we count the days of Lent, because Sunday is always the joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Therefore, the first day of Lent in the western Church is always a Wednesday. The Church calls this first day of Lent Ash Wednesday. It is most appropriate that on Ash Wednesday, we begin a forty-day period of sober reflection, self-examination, and spiritual redirection. In ancient Biblical times, ashes became a sign of remorse, repentance, and mourning. Today someone might wear a black armband to signify that they are in mourning; back then people put ashes on their foreheads. During Lent, ancient Christians mourned their sins and repented of them, so it was appropriate for them to show their sincerity by having ashes on their foreheads. The custom has persisted in the church as secular society has changed around us. Some people only celebrate the happy times in Jesus’ life: Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas. But we think as true followers, we should also watch and pray with Him on Maundy Thursday, stand by Him at the cross on Good Friday, and retreat with Him into the wilderness during Lent. We hope you will join us at the beautiful and moving service of Ash Wednesday. Our worship begins at 7:00 PM in the main church.
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