SAYING NO & SAYING YES
As you know, on this day, millions of Christians around the world engage in the ancient ritual known as “the imposition of ashes.” The practice of using ashes as a sign of penitence goes back to the Hebrew people (“sack-cloth and ashes”). Christian use of the ashes goes back to the 2nd century, and it was widely practised by the 5th century.
Ash Wednesday begins the forty-day journey of Lent between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It is intended to set the believer on a sobering time of self-examination and repentance, in preparation for the renewal of faith one might receive in the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the supreme feast of Easter.
Many Christians try to take this time seriously. Churches almost go into a time of mourning, even though Sundays are always “Feast Days”. Traditionally we don’t sing the ‘Gloria’, we don’t have flowers etc – all intended to give the great contrast when Easter joy bursts in! Mothering Sunday come in mid-Lent, often referred to as “Refreshment Sunday”.