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Where do Ashes come from?

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Falat Julian "Popielec" Wikimedia CommonsToday at Oblate Missions and around the world we celebrate Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, 46 days before Easter.

Where do the ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from?  Ashes are typically gathered after the palms or Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned.

The official name is actually “Day of Ashes,” but it always falls on a Wednesday when the day the faithful have their foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of a cross.   The priest or minister blesses the ashes, and then says one of the following when applying them:

“Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”
“Repent, and hear the good news.”