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MEANING OF ASH WEDNESDAY AND WHY ANGLICANS CELEBRATE IT

The aim of this article is to explain why the Anglican Church
celebrate ash Wednesday. Most times, Pentecostal churches
tend to condemn and speak against almost every practice of
the Orthodox Church. But I hope this article will be meaningful
and in turn convince as many as possible, but for the doubting
Thomas’s, I do not know what else to do. I can only talk of
Anglican because of my Anglican background, but I will not be
able to talk much about Catholics and other orthodox
churches. Although they all celebrate this event, yet I will not
be able to place the exact reason why they do it.
Ash Wednesday is celebrated in the Anglican Church to mark
the beginning of lent. Lent is a period of fasting and prayer
which is observed by all Anglicans worldwide. It is celebrated
once in a year and it terminates with the celebration of Easter.
The lenting period for the Anglican Church lasts for a period
of 40 days but ash Wednesday is celebrated 46 days to Easter.
The fasting lasts for 40 days because the number 40 is a
unique number. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and
Moses also fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Thus the
Anglican Church fasts for 40 days. Many other churches fast
for as long as they can or as short as they can. For example,
RCCG fasted for 100 straight days in 2017 and 50 straight days
in 2018, yet in July, they will also embark on another fasting
for 30 days to complete 80 days fasting. Some other churches
fast for the first 7 days of every year, some fast the last 7 days
of every year, yet others fix their fast within the year. Islam
fast 30 days to their sallah. Thus, the subject of fasting is not a
new thing; neither did it originate from the Anglican Church.
The lenting period occurs at a calculated time. As earlier
stated, ash Wednesday occurs 46 days to Easter. The
Anglican church do not fast on Sundays and as such, this
lenting period lasts for 7 week (46 days) minus 6 Sundays in
which no fasting is done. It is expected that every Anglican
join in this yearly and spiritual exercise.
There are basically two major reasons why the church still
celebrates Ash Wednesday which I am here to highlight.
The first reason why we still celebrate Ash Wednesday is
because it is a sign of genuine repentance, sober reflection
and sorrow. Dating back to the Old Testament, we see that
ash was used severally on different occasions to mourn or
bewail issues like; pronounced judgement, sorrow of heart,
remorse and repentance. Perhaps, the following scripture
references would throw more light. Job.42v6, Esther.4v1-3,
2Samuel.13v19, Jeremiah.6v26.25v34, Daniel.9v3. Jonah.3v6,
Matthew.11v21, Luke.10v13. These few verses show us that
ashes are been used basically as a sign of repentance and
Jesus confirmed it validity as we see in Matthew and Luke.
For this reason, the lenting period starts with the Ash
Wednesday to show that the season is a season of sober
reflection. It is a season of genuine repentance which ushers
us to fast and pray, calling on the Lord Most High with a pure
heart and a holy hand.
The second reason why Ash Wednesday is celebrated in the
Anglican Communion is to remind us who we are. No matter
the extent of our greatness and achievement, it a sad news to
know that we are just ash and dust. This is why in a typical
Anglican burial scenario, you will see or hear the following
lines, “earth to earth, dust to dust, ash to ash”. With these
statements, the grave of the dead person is covered.
Therefore, we must constantly remind ourselves whom we are
and not go about thinking that we are what we are not. With
this in mind, it will help every Christian worldwide to
understand the more that we are all ash and one day we will
return back to ash while the soul returns to God.
Do We Just Pick Up Ash From Anywhere
This is another important question that i will not fail to answer.
Do we pick up ash from anywhere, since ash do not have its
types? The answer is NO. We do not just use any kind of ash
for this celebration. We get a palm frond, burn it and use that
ash for the celebration. Palm frond is selected because when
Jesus went triumphantly into Jerusalem, the people got palm
frond and st it om the ground for His ass to walk on it. For this
reason, the Anglican church use the ash gotten from palm
frond.
May God help us so that this celebration will not just be to
fulfill all righteousness. One of the major reason why it seems
as if Christianity is losing its value day by day is because some
of those things which were instituted our Christian fathers are
now been abused and carried out just to fulfill all
righteousness. So if you are looking for the reason behind the
ash Wednesday, then I have done a little justice to it. If you
love this article and you believe its content, then go ahead
and share it to all and sundry.

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