February 17, 2021 is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent and 46 days before Easter, which this year will fall on April 4.
According to Christianity.com, the 40-day period represents Christ’s time of fasting and temptation in the wilderness. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.
Adherents place ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. The ashes traditionally are from the burning of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
The traditional “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust” is the burial service from the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer. It was based on this verse of the Bible.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.Genesis 3:19
But we have a living hope and resurrection.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.Isaiah 61:3
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