Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Today is Ash Wednesday (The Day of Ashes). Ash Wednesday is an observance and not a federal public holiday in the United States.
Some Christians in the United States attend special Ash Wednesday church services.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten discipline for observant Christians. It is traditionally a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for receiving or reaffirming baptism at Easter. For some Christians, Lent is a time to think about one’s life choices and mortality, as well as reflect on life directions. It serves as a wakeup call for some Christians.
There are also those who choose this time of the year to donate to charities or take part in charity events as a way to get close to God.
The practice of marking foreheads with ashes is common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Episcopalians in the United States. However some Methodist and Presbyterian churches adopted this custom in recent times, especially around the 1990s.