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Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent

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Mangaluru: Catholics in Mangaluru and all over the world received the mark of the ash cross on their forehead today, February 10, to mark the start of the 40-day season of Lent.

This holy day where people are reminded that “we are dust and unto dust we shall return” is called as Ash Wednesday. The ashes also symbolize the call for repentance and the need to reunite oneself with the Lord, as per the Holy Scriptures.

On this day, a priest or a lay minister imposes ashes in the form of a cross on the forehead of each churchgoer, saying, “Repent and believe in the Gospel,” or, “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”

Catholics of Mangaluru attended mass in various churches throughout the day and with a humble bow received the holy ash and prayed so as to be able to repent for their sins.

In the homily preached by the priests, Catholics were reminded to practice the “tripod” of Lent: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

Fasting refers to eating only one complete meal and two smaller ones. On Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent, Catholics at least 14 years old are obliged to abstain from eating meat.

Ash Wednesday recalls the 40 days and nights of Jesus’ suffering, from his Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane to his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.

In the Holy Bible, a mark on the forehead symbolizes a person’s ownership which makes the symbol of the cross on one’s forehead a sign of “surrender to Christ.” Many retain the ashes on their foreheads until sundown as a sign of humility and complete surrender to God.

As the season of Lent begins, Church officials encourage the faithful to reflect, do charity work, and to go to confession for spiritual cleansing in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks beginning of Season of Lent

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