The Catholic Church has entered since Wednesday, February 22 in a liturgical season that prepares it for the celebration of the Passover.
A sign of the cross marked on the forehead, preceded by an evangelical formula “convert and believe in the good news“. This is what marks the beginning of Lent among Catholic Christians. During this 40-day period, which begins with the laying on of ashes, the faithfuls are called to get closer to God, as Fr Charles Ngoubi explains, “the laying down of ashes refers to the tradition of Hebrews who covered their heads with ashes to express their repentance. Lent is therefore this period that prepares Christians for the celebration of the Passover.”
In Ritual, is not different at the St Peter and Paul Parish Simbock, the face marked with the sign of the cross, confides that “to be in communion with God, I must live a Christian life. The time of Lent is the time to get closer to him.” During this period, Christians will rely on prayer, sharing and penance, three essential pillars for a good preparation for the celebration of the Passover.
As a reminder Ash Wednesday is a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God and marks the beginning of the penitential Lenten season, Genesis 3:19 – “…For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”. It is commonly observed with ashes and fasting.