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What is Ash Wednesday?

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All over the Greater Binghamton area today, you will most likely run in to people that have ashes on their forehead.  This ancient ritual follows Fat Tuesday and is known as Ash Wednesday across the world.  Ash Wednesday is important as it always signifies the beginning of Lent observations for many Christian denominations.

Ash Wednesday is often associated with the Catholic Church.  According to Catholic.org, the holy ashes are made “from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration the previous year.”  They are then placed in the shape of a cross on the forehead of the worshipper.  It serves as a reminder of human mortality and repentance as one prepares for Holy Week and Easter.

What many do not know is the Catholic Church is not the only denomination to observe Ashes.  The Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches also have practiced the ritual.

Here’s to a great Lent everyone.

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