A guide to Ash Wednesday and Lent  

Ash Wednesday Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi in Brookhaven at 12:10 and 5:30.

Yet, many people might not be aware of what Ash Wednesday is or the significance of why citizens of Lincoln County might have ash in the form of a cross on their foreheads.

Its goal is to direct the Christian's heart towards prayer and repentance, typically through private and public confession.

Presenter on the Catholic cable network EWTN, Friar John Paul Mary, advises Catholics to go to confession before Ash Wednesday rather than later in or at the end of Lent.

The start of Lent is 46 days before Easter Sunday. Without include Sundays, the 40-day period is characterised by penitence, fasting, introspection, and ultimately, jubilation.

The duration corresponds to the length of Jesus' wilderness temptation, as described in the New Testament Gospels.

Typically, the service is solemn and features lengthy pauses for thought.

The palm branches from Palm Sunday, when churches commemorate the Gospels' narrative of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem the night before his crucifixion and resurrection, are typically burned to prepare the ashes.

The congregation is encouraged to receive the ashes on their foreheads, which are given by the priest or pastor in the shape of a cross, after a period of private confession and prayer.

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. codified the practise of Lent, albeit its roots are unknown.

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