When is Ash Wednesday 2011?

Posted Feb 4th 2011 04:00 PMUpdated Mar 7th 2011 03:46 PM

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When is Ash Wednesday?

Photo by Maureen Lunn on Flickr

Ash Wednesday 2011 will mark the beginning of the season of Lent in the Catholic Church. The date of the observance differs each year; in 2011, Ash Wednesday falls on March 9. Lent is a season of repentance, prayer and fasting in the Catholic faith, and certain rituals take place for followers of the religion.

Lent begins 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays) before Easter Sunday, when most Christian faiths celebrate the resurrection from death of Jesus Christ. The date of Easter is determined by the appearance of the "paschal" full moon, which is the first full moon that rises on or after the Vernal, or Spring, Equinox. Easter Sunday comes on the first Sunday after that moon. The date of Ash Wednesday is calculated from that. In 2011, Easter Sunday falls on April 24.

Other religions that recognize Lent, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, calculate the dates differently.

On Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church, members attend a special service where a priest, minister or in some cases a layperson dips a finger into ashes, draws the shape of a cross on the faithful's forehead with the ashes and recites a Bible verse, usually Genesis 3:19: "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return" (or words to that effect).

The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made by burning the palm fronds that were blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday (the week before Easter). A priest blesses the ashes by sprinkling holy water on them. The Ash Wednesday ritual traces its origin to religious ceremonies of the Middle Ages, and the ashes symbolize the penance that – along with prayer and ritual fasting – marks the season of Lent.

Many non-Catholics are interested each year about when is Ash Wednesday for another reason: The day before is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a day of feasting, drinking and debauchery that is celebrated by communities and cities around the globe. The Mardi Gras, or Carnival, season actually begins each year on January 6, but most people associate the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday with the biggest parties and parades, especially in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Deacon John Kranz

‎"Some resign themselves, but with certain reservations, for they do not fully trust in God, therefore they think that they have some provision to make for themselves. Some again at first offer everything; but afterwards being pressed by temptation they return to their own devices, and thus make no progress in virtue. They will not attain to the true liberty of a pure heart, nor to the grace of My sweet companionship, unless they first entirely resign themselves and daily offer themselves up as a sacrifice; without this the union which bringeth forth fruit standeth not nor will stand." The Imitation of Christ; Book lll, Chapter XXXVII
By: Deacon John Kranz

March 11 2011 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

It is a beautiful sacramental much as holy water and incense are and is mentioned in the Old Testament in reference to a penitent heart. It starts a most wonderful season of soul searching and a most hope filled time culminating with the glory of Easter. It is a time for penance and prayer, alms giving, and other works of virtue and charity. Most of all, it is a time to recall God's infinite love and mercy for us, manifested in the life, mission, death, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

References to the use of ashes are succinctly expressed in Wikipedia under Ash Wednesday and are to be found in several other books of the Bible including, Numbers 19:9, 19:17, Jonah 3:6, Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13, and Hebrews 9:13. Ezekiel 9 also speaks of a linen-clad messenger marking the forehead of the city inhabitants that have sorrow over the sins of the people. All those without the mark are destroyed.

March 09 2011 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shininglight

Abomination Masked as Christianity

God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). He never instituted Lent, a pagan observance connecting debauchery to the so-called resurrection of a false Messiah.

God commands His people to follow Him—not the traditions of men. God’s ways are higher, better than man’s (Isa 55:8-9). Men cannot determine for themselves right from wrong or how to properly worship God. Why? Because “the heart [mind] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9), and “the way of many is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer 10:23) . God designed us and gave us life. He knows how we are supposed to worship Him.

To be a Christian and properly serve God, you must live “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4), recognizing that His Holy Scriptures “cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

God commands Christians to flee from the pagan traditions and customs of this world (Rev 18:2-4), currently led and deceived by Satan the devil (II Cor 4:4; Rev 12:9).

Lent may seem like a sincere, heartfelt religious observance. But it is deeply rooted in pagan ideas that counterfeit God’s plan.

God hates all pagan observances (Jer 10:2-3; Lev 18:3,30; Deut 7;1-5, 16). They cannot be “Christianized” or made clean by men. That includes Lent.

Now you know the true meaning of Lent.

March 08 2011 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shininglight

Abomination Masked as Christianity

God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). He never instituted Lent, a pagan observance connecting debauchery to the so-called resurrection of a false Messiah.

God commands His people to follow Him—not the traditions of men. God’s ways are higher, better than man’s (Isa 55:8-9). Men cannot determine for themselves right from wrong or how to properly worship God. Why? Because “the heart [mind] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9), and “the way of many is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer 10:23) . God designed us and gave us life. He knows how we are supposed to worship Him.

To be a Christian and properly serve God, you must live “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4), recognizing that His Holy Scriptures “cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

God commands Christians to flee from the pagan traditions and customs of this world (Rev 18:2-4), currently led and deceived by Satan the devil (II Cor 4:4; Rev 12:9).

Lent may seem like a sincere, heartfelt religious observance. But it is deeply rooted in pagan ideas that counterfeit God’s plan.

God hates all pagan observances (Jer 10:2-3; Lev 18:3,30; Deut 7;1-5, 16). They cannot be “Christianized” or made clean by men. That includes Lent.

Now you know the true meaning of Lent.

March 08 2011 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alice Grace

Mr. Walen should be aware that Ash Wednesday and Lent are also observed by many Protestant faiths.

These Christian denominations are among those that mark Ash Wednesday by holding a service of worship or Mass: (Source: Wikipedia)

African Methodist Episcopal Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Anglican/Episcopal churches (excepting most Sydney Diocese churches)
Anglican Church of India
Individual Baptist churches may hold a service
Catholic Church (in the Latin Rite); known as Ash Monday in the other Eastern Catholic Churches
Church of God (Anderson)
Church of South India
Church of North India
Church of the Nazarene
Some congregations of Community of Christ
Some Free Churches
The Liberal Catholic Church
Lutheran Church
Moravian Church
Old Catholic Church
Reformed churches (Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), etc.)
United Methodist Church
Wesleyan Church

February 24 2011 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zheng ye

So superstitious.

February 12 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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