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Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent – Wednesday 22 February 2023

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which is a time of preparation for Easter.

Lent is a time to reflect on our lives and behaviour with a view to making small positive changes that make a difference to ourselves and to the lives of others. It is a time to simplify our lives and to give more. To give more of ourselves to our family and friends; to give more of our time to reflect and pray; and to give more of our resources to those who find themselves struggling.

Why the ashes? Ash reminds us who we are and what we are made of – dust and ash.  And yet, we are created in the image and likeness of God. Ash soils our hands as we work towards the reign of God. Ash reminds us that we are called to be involved in the world – in all of its goodness and in its suffering. Ash symbolises for us, a cleansing of our hearts. Although we are unable to receive the ashes in the usual manner this year, the symbolism is no less significant and meaningful.