Day 68/365: Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday’s origins are tied to its history and the time of year during which it occurs. It follows the season of Epiphany, which culminates with Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). The solemn proceedings that occur on Ash Wednesday bring the focus back to the sacrifice of Christ and the mission of the Church. The observance most likely comes from the biblical Day of Atonement. In Leviticus 16, the Lord establishes an annual day of repentance for the Israelites as a lasting ordinance for all their generations. Since the blood of Jesus represents atonement, the heart of Ash Wednesday is a humbling of oneself through fasting and prayer.