ALBAWABA - Christians mark Ash Wednesday, which is one of the "most popular and important holy days" in the religion. It also means Easter is coming.
Ash Wednesday also means the first day of Lent, a period of 40 days during which Christians fast.
Pope Francis at Ash Wednesday Mass: The rite of the imposition of ashes reminds us to return to the truth about ourselves: the Lord alone is God & we are the work of his hands. The ashes remind us to return to God & our brothers and sisters. Our life is built on relationships. pic.twitter.com/uL6YWD4Bn4— Catholic News Service Rome (@CatholicNewsSvc) February 22, 2023
During the Ash Wednesday ceremony, priests usually use ash to draw a cross on the foreheads of worshipers. While putting the mark, priests usually say "Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return" or "Repent and believe in the Gospel."
Ash Wednesday is always six and a half weeks before Easter.
Days before Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis said in a message to Christians: "Jesus is himself the way, and therefore, both in the liturgical journey (of Lent) and in the journey of the synod, the church does nothing other than enter ever more deeply and fully into the mystery of Christ the savior."