Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday 14th February and marks the start of Lent.
The Link between Lent and Ash Wednesday…
“Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults.
This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which financial giving has traditionally been added.
As the candidates for baptism were instructed in Christian faith, and as penitents prepared themselves, through fasting and penance, to be readmitted to communion, the whole Christian community was invited to join them in the process of study and repentance, the extension of which over forty days would remind them of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, being tested by Satan.
Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. This ash is traditionally made from the burnt palm crosses from the previous year. And so the beginning of Lent is known as Ash Wednesday.
The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual in the West to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (not including Sundays), so beginning Lent on the sixth Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday.”
(This introduction comes from Common Worship: Times and Seasons, copyright (c) The Archbishop’s Council, 2006).
All Saints will celebrate Ash Wednesday with an evening Holy Communion Service which will include an opportunity to receive ashes. There will be intercessions for the life and work of All Saints and a short address.
All are welcome to this service – whether regular members of All Saints or visitors, and all are welcome to come and worship and receive Holy Communion regardless of the denomination a person is a member of.