Indore: Christian Community observed the Ash Wednesday by attending prayer services in all the Churches in Indore city on Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is one of the most important and obligatory day for all Christians all over the world because it marks the start of Lenten season. The duration of the lent is 40 days.
Community members participated in hug member in prayer service in different churches all over Indore city. During Holy Eucharist, priests placed the ashes on devotees’ forehead in the shape of a cross. The ashes used as an act of reminder that we are sinners on the forehead of everyone during the prayer servicing saying ‘Remember that you are dust. And to dust you shall return’. The ashes are a symbol of repentance and conversion.
Fr Simon Raj shared that the ashes used on this day come from Blessed palms of the previous Palm Sunday. Those palms are considered sacred which are burnt to produce the ashes.
“Ashes are considered sacramental and they are then blessed before being used in the Ash Wednesday ceremony,” Raj said.
In his address, Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD said, “We must remember that Lent season has three pillars – Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.” He added that prayer is the action that leads all of us to God.
“Prayer gives meaning to Lenten practices which must draw us closer to Him,” Thottumarickal said. During lent, Christians fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
“We must give this saving for the social cause, since almsgiving is the action that leads us Christians to feel and sense the needs of others around us,” Thottumarickal said.
Further he explained that Lent season is a spiritual spring a time for spiritual growth and renewal. It runs from Ash Wednesday until the Holy Thursday/Holy Mass of the Lord’s Supper. “The liturgical color is used purple for all the prayer services during Lenten as it symbolises of penance and repentance,” Thottumarickal said. One of the coordinators Sherin Sisodiya told that from now onward on Fridays special prayer service will be conducted named as ‘The way of the Cross’ followed by Holy Eucharist. “We believe that Jesus died for our sins on a Friday, making it a day of mourning,” he said.
Fr Anthony Swami said, “In Bible, forty is the number used to signify enough or ample time.”The significance of forty days is that fast of Jesus in the desert before He stared His public ministry.
Rajiv Francis from Nanda Nagar Parish said, “It is times of almsgiving in another words time of charity.” He added that charity helps him find inner peace. Sr Ganga Rawat said, “For me almsgiving is a form of self denial, sacrifice on behalf of my family.”