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Of Royal Palm Beach

I. Ash Wednesday

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holiday (holy day) that is not a biblical requirement (just like Christmas and Easter, which are not commanded in Scripture). Nevertheless, it has been honored by Christians for well over ten centuries, falling at the beginning of Lent, a six-week season of preparation for Easter. In the earliest centuries, Christians who had been stuck in persistent sin had ashes sprinkled on their bodies as a sign of repentance, even as Job repented “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). Around the tenth century, all believers began to signify their need for repentance by having ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Notice: even this sign of sinfulness hinted at the good news yet to come through its shape. Ash Wednesday is not some dour, depressing holy day because it symbolically anticipates Good Friday and Easter. [Source:]

Why do we celebrate Ash Wednesday?

The theological basis of Ash Wednesday is framed by the theology of creation, sin, mortality, death, grace, and salvation. It is also meant to remind us to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and to “confess your sins to one another.” (James 5:16)

It is also the opportunity to acknowledge our frailty, imperfections and sinfulness.

How will we celebrate Ash Wednesday?

We will have a day time disposition of ashes for those who can’t make the evening Ash Wednesday Service with Pastor Sapp imposing the ashes on each person’s forehead and saying, “From dust you’ve come and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).

Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).