The long, dark tunnel of Lent

Faith on the Fringe

Lent begins this week, with Ash Wednesday.

Lent

One of the oldest traditions in the Church calendar, the season reminds us to:

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.”           — Genesis 3:19

The Lenten Season is the 40 days prior to Easter, not including Sundays. It ends on Maundy Thursday, March 24.

In many faith traditions, ashes are viewed as a symbol of penance, and the ashes of Ash Wednesday help us be more humble and sacrificial in spirit. Ashes are applied in the shape of a cross on our foreheads to symbolize humility and to remind us of death.

Generally, with one stroke of the ashes, the first words are spoken,

“Remember that you are dust,”

Then with the second line of ashes, forming a cross,

“and to dust you will return.”

On one Ash Wednesday, the minister recited these words as he applied the…

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