Ash Wednesday

First day of Lent, occuring 6 1/2 weeks before Easter. The name comes from the practice of marking the foreheads of clergy and worshippers with ash. Typically the ash comes from burning the palms used on the previous Palm Sunday. It is the only other day besides Good Friday for which fasting is prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
16099
Names
Ash Wednesday
Aswoensdag Dutch
dies cinerum Liturgical Latin
Miércoles de Cenizas Spanish
Miércoles de cordillo Spanish
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More Definitions

Refers to the first day of Lent, occuring 6 1/2 weeks before Easter. The name comes from the practice of marking the foreheads of clergy and worshippers with ash. Typically the ash comes from burning the palms used on the previous Palm Sunday. It is the only other day besides Good Friday for which fasting is prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church. Ash Wednesday is also observed in the Anglican, Lutheran, and some other Protestant churches. Eastern Orthodox churches do not observe Ash Wednesday because Lent begins on a Monday in their calendar.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300069636. The J. Paul Getty Trust.
  2. 2.  The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ash Wednesday. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.