Why is it Ash Wednesday? A priest explains
- Credit: Archant
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of repentance and reflection marking the first day of Lent - the six weeks of penitence leading up to Easter.
It falls 40 days before Easter, not including Sundays – the same length of time Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert.
“It is a time of saying sorry to God for everything we have done wrong,” said Rev Canon Ian Tarrant, Rector of St Mary’s, High Road, South Woodford.
The day sees worshippers mark their foreheads with ash in the shape of a cross.
Explaining the symbolism, Rev Ian said: “In many ancient cultures the use of Ash is a way to symbolize repentance.”
“It is something that has been destroyed, something that has been burnt.”
“It represents the desolation that follows after recognising that you have done wrong.”
- 1 Plan to install gates at canalside development blocked despite ASB concerns
- 2 Product sold at Tesco recalled due to risk of disease-causing bacteria
- 3 'Ruthless' killer sentenced for Isle of Dogs murder
- 4 Jailed: Eight east London offenders locked up in July
- 5 Man reportedly 'chased by moped rider with large knife' in Poplar
- 6 London Assembly: TfL urged to rethink plans to cut 78 bus routes
- 7 Teenager, 17, arrested after car crashes into Bow apartment building
- 8 Man 'seriously injured' after e-scooter fall
- 9 Leyton Orient have to settle for point at Swindon
- 10 Investigation under way after fire and explosion at Shoreditch block
But he added: “As well as apologising, we also say that we will be better in the future.”
“It’s about asking for God’s power to improve ourselves.”