Ash Wednesday is derived from ancient Jewish customs of using ashes as a symbol of penance and humility. On Ash Wednesday, Christians receive a cross-shaped mark on their foreheads made from ashes, usually derived from burnt palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. This ritual serves as a visible sign of repentance, mortality, and a commitment to a season of fasting, prayer, and reflection leading up to Easter. Christians practice Ash Wednesday today as a solemn reminder of their dependence on God, the need for repentance, and a symbolic initiation into a period of spiritual introspection and preparation.

TLE Ash Wednesday PDF

TLE Ash Wednesday RNM Video

Discussion Questions:

1) Reflecting on the sermon’s analogy of discovering new truths that flip our world upside down (Copernicum Revolution), have you ever experienced a moment of realization that shifted your perspective on your faith or spiritual beliefs? How did you navigate that change?

2) Ash Wednesday serves as a tangible reminder for Christians to enter willingly into the Lenten season. How do physical rituals or symbols, like receiving ashes on our foreheads, help deepen our spiritual awareness and commitment to God?

3) What are some of the parallels bewteen Lenten practices and the actions of biblical figures like Hezekiah, Daniel, and the Ninevites. How can we relate their expressions of repentance and humility to our own spiritual journeys during Lent?

4) There is importance in giving up something during Lent as a reflection of Jesus’ sacrifice and an opportunity to give to others. What are some practical ways we can make our Lenten sacrifices meaningful and impactful in our lives and communities?

5) Lent is also not just about giving up, but also about looking forward to the hope of the Resurrection and new life in Christ. How can we keep this perspective of hope and transformation central to our Lenten observance?

6) As we prepare to enter into the Lenten season, what are some specific ways we can cultivate a heart posture of humility, repentance, and anticipation for the resurrection? How might our communal practices, such as taking communion, deepen our understanding of these themes?