In many countries the last day before the Season of lent is Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or Carnival.
It has become a last fling before the solemnity of Lent. For centuries is was customary to fast by abstaining from meat during Lent, which is why some people call the festival Carnival – which in Latin means a farewell to meat.
Lent was a season in the early church that was used to prepare new converts for baptism on Easter Sunday. Lent is 40 days in length (minus Sundays because they are mini-easter celebrations) – 40 is a reminder of the 40 years of wandering and the 40 days of temptation.
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the days until Easter with a reminder that we are mortal – from the dust we came from the dust we shall return. So we receive the mark of the ashes as a reminder and the ashes come from the burnt remains of last year’s Palm Branches and serve to remind us of the cycle of life and the year that has passed us by.
On this Ash Wednesday we will learn come proper etiquette as it pertains the table and making reservations. Oh and on this night – no Reservation is needed – just come.
Worship begins at 7:oo pm … it won’t last long … after all we are just getting started on our journey with Jesus on the way to Easter.