Ash Wednesday

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Ash Wednesday, in the Western Church, the first day of Lent, being the seventh Wednesday before Easter. On this day ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of death, of the sorrow they should feel for their sins, and of the necessity of changing their lives. The practice, which dates from the early Middle Ages, is common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Episcopalians, and many Lutherans; it was also adopted by some Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1990s.

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Ash Wednesday. So-called because of the practice of marking with ash the foreheads of clergy and people at the beginning of Lent.

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Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent in the Western Christian Church, marked by services of penitence, and so named from the custom of marking the foreheads of penitents with ashes on that day.

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Ash Wednesday First day of Lent