What is Ash Wednesday?

Lent, a 40-day period for fasting and abstinence (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.


Lent, in the Christian church, is a period of penitential preparation for Easter.

In Western churches it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides a 40-day period for fasting and abstinence (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.

In Eastern churches Lent begins on the Monday of the seventh week before Easter and ends on the Friday that is nine days before Easter. This 40-day “Great Lent” includes Saturdays and Sundays as relaxed fast days.

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.

Daniel chapter 9, verse 3, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

man with hands folded in prayer
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exploring and sharing the HEART of health.   

I invite you to use the links below to help you observe Lent in whatever manner you choose. Perhaps read one weekly, share on your social media feeds, and invite discussion. Maybe one might speak to a friend that you share with by email. Or choose the print option and mail it to a friend who doesn’t do social media. I hope they will be a blessing to you however you choose to use them.

And please follow me here by subscribing-I love sharing words of faith, hope, and love.

I invite you Follow the links below for devotional posts created for Lent

Dr. Aletha 

"faith, hope, love"
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words for Lent – Good news

And before anyone can go and tell them, they must be sent. As the Scriptures say, “How wonderful it is to see someone coming to tell good news!”Messiah selections from the New Testament

Keep reading

a word for Lent – Glory

Even though Messiah tells the story of Jesus, whose birth, life, and death are recorded in the Bible’s New Testament, many of the lyrics come from the Old Testament, like this passage today from Psalms.

Keep reading

a word for Lent – Alleluia

Often referred to as the Hallelujah Chorus, this passage is the most recognized part of Handel’s Messiah. If you have ever attended a live performance of Messiah, you probably stood during the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Keep reading

Sorrow-a word for Lent

Charles Jennens gave George Handel the lyrics to Messiah, verses primarily from Isaiah, Psalms, Paul’s letters to the early church, and Revelation.

Keep reading

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

4 thoughts on “What is Ash Wednesday?”

  1. Thank you for sharing your Lent post at SSPS #250. This year I have to pass on fasting due to my recent surgery but will for sure be back at it next year. Shared your post on SM


    1. I agree Esme, I don’t think fasting is meant to jeopardize our health, that wouldn’t be helpful. It should make us feel better, less stressed, more at peace. So I am “fasting” the news! It’s almost impossible to avoid it entirely, but I am watching and reading much less, and I like it; I may make it permanent.

      Liked by 1 person

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