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5 Interesting Facts About Ash Wednesday, Lent 2024

    02.03.24 | Articles, The Shepherd's Voice | by Don Treglown
    1. February 14, 2024 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  It is also St. Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday is one of the two days in the Church calendar which encourages fasting and abstinence.  Valentine’s Day, as celebrated in the United States, is generally not associated with these activities but celebrates Love.
    2. The Meaning of Ashes. Ash Wednesday worship involves church services where ashes are placed in the shape of a cross on the foreheads or hands of worshipers.  This practice reminds us of our mortality and God’s forgiveness.
    1. Why people give up things for Lent. A common way Christians observe Lent is to give up something they like during the season. Popular options include soda pop, candy, television, computers, drinking, or smoking.
    1. Alleluia’ buried. It is customary for churches observing Lent to refrain from having songs featuring the Hebrew phrase ”Alleluia,” translated as “Praise the Lord,” during Lent.  This is because it is seen as the joyful nature of alleluia is more appropriately reserved for our Easter celebrations.
    1. Last Year’s Palm Sunday Branches used for Ashes. Here at Faith Lutheran Church, the ashes for Ash Wednesday are traditionally taken from palm branches from our Memorial Garden along with the palm branches that were used for the previous year’s Palm Sunday, stressing the theme of mortality.

    Helping the members of Faith Lutheran Church understand the purpose of Lent is the goal of the worship staff this year.   Jesus’ sacrifice is the best example of what true Love is all about.  I think this is much more important than debating whether I buy roses and cherry-filled chocolates for  my wife on February 14 or droning on with the church’s notice about days of fasting and abstinence.

    Happy St. Valentine’s Day and a meaningful Lent to All!

    Pastor Don Treglown

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