Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

When is Ash Wednesday 2022?

This year Ash Wednesday is on March 2, 2022.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Lent is the forty days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. The number forty is significant as it refers to Jesus’ forty days in the desert prior to beginning his ministry of teaching. 

On Ash Wednesday, Catholics receive ashes in the shape of a cross on their forehead. These ashes are created from the palms used during the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. They symbolize penance, which is appropriate as Lent is a season of penance, and remind us of our own mortality. During the Mass, as the priest or lay minister applies the ashes, he says “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Is Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?

Holy Days of Obligation are days Catholics should attend Mass and do their best to avoid unnecessary work. Contrary to popular belief, Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. Even though it’s not an obligation, many Catholics attend Mass to mark the beginning of the Lenten season.

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Can you eat meat on Ash Wednesday? 

No. Unless you have a medical exemption, Ash Wednesday is a day of Fasting for Catholics.

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