Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent

Cross of ashes on a girl's forehead

On Ash Wednesday the ashes of last year’s palm crosses are burned and
the ash used to place a cross on the forehead of each person in the congregation.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent.  Ashes were used in Old Testament times as a way of expressing sorrow for sin and faults.

Ash Wednesday also marks the start of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying and ends on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.

Christians mark this time in prayer, repentance, study, some fast (eating no meat or dairy products) and many give up luxuries.

Ash Wednesday services

Parish Ash Wednesday services are:

12.10 pm   Ash Wednesday Midday Service, St Matthew’s

5.30 pm   Contemplative Service and Imposition of Ashes, St Andrew’s in the Paddock, Fernridge

5.30 pm    Combined Anglican/Roman Catholic Ash Wednesday service at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, begins with Lenten food in Moore House (behind St Patrick’s, followed by a combined Ash Wednesday Service in St Patrick’s (the Liturgy of the Word and the Imposition of Ashes).