Christ the King
A Catholic Community of the Diocese of San Diego
WELCOME TO CHRIST THE KING
Ash Wednesday is March 5
8:00 pm. Mass - Spanish
What does the putting on of ashes symbolize?
Some people asked me could they receive the ashes on Tuesday in place of Wednesday because they wanted to avoid the crowds. When I said no, they were upset at me. What is the meaning of the ashes anyway?
The forty days of penance is marked with the sober symbol of ashes which are used in the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday.
The use of ashes comes from an ancient rite where converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance. They could be identified by the ashes on their foreheads. The ashes symbolize fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the love and mercy of God.
Today the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during the 40 days of Lent.
Those who come to receive ashes should be attuned to the internal significance of this act, which should move them towards conversion and renewed Easter commitment.
Fr. Tommie Jennings