: Feb 17, 2021
Ash Wednesday is a Catholic holy day of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads to the words "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”. It is a time to look inward, but also outward, toward works of service for others. On Ash Wednesday, we display the twin symbols — dust and the sign of the cross — like badges of honor.
Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry. The Lenten Fast (which is the period that most people consider to be 'Lent') starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.