Ash Wednesday for the year 2023 is celebrated/observed on Wednesday, February 22nd. There are until the next observance.
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of fasting, sacrifice, and prayer that falls six weeks before Easter Sunday, on February 22, 2023. Jesus’ followers of various sects and groups sometimes forego a regular meal schedule, instead eating only one normal-sized meal and two extremely modest ones in a given 24-hour period, notably on Good Friday. The most devoted Christians have been known to eat even less, confining themselves to bread and water to commemorate Christ’s 40-day, 40-night fast as related in the Gospels. Alcohol abstinence is also emphasized on Ash Wednesday and during the Lenten season.
📆 When is Ash Wednesday?
This year, Ash Wednesday is on February 22nd. It is the 4th Wednesday in February; in 2024, it is on Thursday.
→ Did you know: Consider the Catholic confession, in which a priest tells a parishioner to say a series of specific prayers in exchange for forgiveness of a sin. This is an example of a Christian “indulgence” that has survived from the past, and it shows that indulgences can be transactional. Martin Luther objected to this so loudly that he was kicked out of the church.
You can also learn all interesting things you didn’t know about and facts about February 22, 2023.
📜 History of Ash Wednesday
Some clergy in modern times have used Ash Wednesday as a chance to do guerrilla evangelism by going out into their towns and giving ashes to people on the sidewalks and even in cars that are stopped at traffic lights.
The overarching point is that when the faithful forego some physiological comforts, they might enter into a state of penitence, acknowledging their past sins and the sacrifice that Jesus made to purify them of those sins. The physical manifestation of the day is palm ashes on the head, either sprinkled over the scalp or wiped in a crucifix shape onto the forehead by priests and pastors.
We believe that this information is useful even for atheists, agnostics, and followers of other faiths, because Christians who wear the forehead cross wear it all day on Ash Wednesday, including to work and school. So, if you see it, understand where it came from and what it means in case you make an uneducated remark. Plus, imagine learning something new about a friend or coworker!
☑️ Ash Wednesday facts
✅ “I can read it myself!”
Luther argued that all baptized Christians are part of a broader holy “priesthood.” He rejected sacerdotalism, the notion that priests are designed to be mediators between God and humans through the Bible.
✅ That’s a lot of translation…
Luther’s translation of the Bible into German vernacular had a variety of societal impacts, including the standardization of the German language, the beginning of an English translation, and the reworking of translation technique in general.
✅ Time to partner up
Martin Luther’s marriage to a former nun at the time, Katharina von Bora, secured the ability of Protestant clergy to marry (a practice distinct from married individuals becoming clergy).
✨ Things to do on Ash Wednesday
⚡ Fast for the day
Many Christians fast on bread and water for the whole twenty-four hours of Ash Wednesday, believing that the experience of emptiness in the body will offer a perspective of requiring God for nourishment, as Jesus was said to have done by fasting in the wilderness. Whether you are constrained by religious obligations or not, do it without obligation to see if fasting offers you an epiphany!
⚡ Receive ashes on your forehead
If you are a Christian, find time to have your spiritual leader lay the cross of ashes on you and show your friends and acquaintances that you are serious about your penance. If not, ask a friend who is carrying the cross today a few questions about faith.They’ll probably say something fascinating.
⚡ Reflect in your own way
Religion, like any serious meditation or thinking, is a personal experience. Take a few deep, steady breaths and consider what comes to mind when you consider your life and your role in the cosmos in a bigger context. Take your time and consider how you truly feel.
📅 Ash Wednesday Observances
Explore all February holidays, including Religious and other Catholic holidays.
We will continue to update this page with new information and must-know facts about Ash Wednesday. So be sure to check back soon.