Ash Wednesday – Now I Know

Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday (aka pancake day in the UK) and we made pancakes for the second time. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and not being particularly religious (or at all even) I never really knew what Ash Wednesday was all about. I understood the Shrove Tuesday thing about clearing out your larder in preparation for Lent, the fasting that leads up to Easter. But Ash Wednesday was something that I knew nothing. I knew exactly when it was – the first day of Lent of course – but I had never even bothered to question why it was so called. How lazy am I? Well now thanks to Dani I know.

Now that Dani is in a catholic faith based school these things will be much more in my face (no pun intended…read on). The day is also known as Day of Ashes. It is not mentioned in the bible and so not all Christian denominations celebrate it.

Yesterday Dani had ash dabbed on his head. Not exactly sure where because as this is school (aka Fight Club) we are talking about he never really divulges much information. (Please read my article on his first day of school regarding Fight Club)

The ashes are supposedly made from burning palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter). When the ashes are placed on the heads of those participating the priest tells them to “remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”.

The usual practice in church is for the priest to use ash to draw the symbol of a cross on the forehead. In schools when they are so young this is not usually even attempted as the kids will just instantly smudge the ash and it may end up in their eyes. So, I am told, they simply dab a little in their hair which is hardly noticeable. I certainly could not detect any on Dani.

It is not only Dani who is learning new things from being in school. His old dad is learning things he should have known about long ago…but for whatever reason never did.

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