Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
During Mass, the ashes which give Ash Wednesday its name are distributed. The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday. After the priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water, the faithful come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, making the sign of the cross on each person's forehead, says, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel". The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many people leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.
Our Lent banners were hung yesterday, the words come from scripture Joel 2:12. "But now, now - it is the Lord who speaks - come back to me with all your heart".
Finally, I'd just like to share with you today's psalm, Psalm 50.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
If you would like to know more about Lent, click here to go to Marchellino's web site
Blessings to you all, Ros