Emma Braunstein – Mustangs Ahead

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(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – For some people March 2, 2022 is like any other day, but for many Christians today is Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is officially known as the Day of Ashes, which is when Christians confess to their sins and profess their devotion to God. It is also known as a reminder of human mortality and the need to conform with God.

“I think Ash Wednesday is important for people who celebrate it to look within themselves and self-reflect on their past actions and how they can better themselves and their community. I think it also bring the community together and makes them a lot closer,” said LRHS world religion teacher Kyle Steinberg.

Although Ash Wednesday isn’t mentioned in the bible, it started with a brutal history.

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It was first practiced in ancient Rome when sinners and criminals would publicly ask God for forgiveness for the sins they committed. They would then be covered in ashes, dressed in sackcloth, and kept isolated until the Thursday before Easter. From there they would be welcomed back into the community with open arms.

Since then, traditions have changed.

Today people go to church and mass. A priest draws a cross made with ashes directly onto a worshipper’s forehead. During the ceremony the minister or priest speaks about how everyone has a connection with Christ and how the cross represents a person’s grief and mourning for all the sins they have committed or been a part of. Once the ceremony is over, people aren’t required to wipe off the ash, however wearing it during a public outing like shopping or going out for lunch is considered inappropriate.