About the beauty of Ash Wednesday

About the beauty of Ash Wednesday

Lent expresses a person's decision to look more at himself and above himself, to give up something in order to gain even more.


About the beauty of Ash Wednesday

Photo - TASR / Roman Hanc

For Christians, this is the beginning of a forty-day fast. Forty days are related to the time Jesus spent in the desert in prayer and fasting before he began to perform in public. It's preparation time. For Christians preparing to celebrate the Easter holidays.

The word Popolcová is related to the ceremony of marking the ashes, which has its place in today's services. The ash is obtained by burning the branches - the so-called mudflats - which were blessed on May Sunday last year. During the ceremony, the priest marks the believer with ashes on his forehead and says: Repent and believe the gospel or remember that you are dust and turn to dust.

The first challenge speaks of repentance, which means, first of all, a change of mindset and confidence in the good news that comes in the person of Jesus Christ. The second draws attention to the symbolism of the transience of this life.

"Something beautiful can be exhibited in the life of each of us if we meaningfully give up

In some parts of Slovakia, the popular term "ugly Wednesday" is also used for Cinderella Wednesday. It is said to be related to the beginning of fasting, which comes right after a period of carnival abundance and joy.

"Something beautiful can be exhibited in the life of each of us if we meaningfully give up something."

She is also considered "ugly" because she fasts during it. So one gives up something. He does it voluntarily, but that doesn't mean it's nice.

Lent and fasting themselves express a person's decision to look more at himself and above himself, to give up something in order to gain even more.

Part of the world-famous cathedral in the ancient French city of Rouen is a beautifully decorated tower in its southern part, which is called "butter". It is said that they built it for the money that believers saved by giving up butter during Lent.


In the life of each of us, something beautiful can certainly be exhibited when we meaningfully give up something ...Source: ( https://svetkrestanstva.postoj.sk/21739/o-krase-popolcovej-stredy)

About Ash Wednesday and Lent

About the beauty of Ash Wednesday

I wish you a blessed survival of Ash Wednesday, which may not be ugly for each of us, but, on the contrary, beautiful!

Church holidays have always been accompanied by various customs. It was no different during Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday.

In early Christianity, converted public sinners began their repentance in a repentant robe that resembled a sack. In front of the church gate, they waited for the bishop, who brought them to the temple, prayed over them with seven penitent psalms, fined them for their sins, and sprinkled them with holy water. Eventually, he sprinkled their heads with ashes and led them out of the temple like God Adam of Paradise. After taking the public sinners out of the temple, many others also repented had their heads sprinkled with ashes. This then became a custom that persists to this day, with the difference that the priests do not pour ashes on the believers' heads but mark their foreheads. The official distribution of ash at the beginning of Lent was introduced in 1091 by Pope Urban II.

The ash used for Ash Wednesday comes from the burnt muds consecrated on May Sunday in the previous year.

The granting of ashes is a symbol of the transience of early things. The priest marks the cross with ashes on his forehead, saying, "Remember, man, you will turn to dust and turn to dust." As we know from the Old Testament, it was a sign of the Ninevites who dressed in sacks and repented in fasting at the sermon of 0Jonah.

Fasting generally means giving up something that is pleasant to a person. In the narrower sense, it means abstaining from food and other pleasant things at a certain time according to the regulations of the Church. Lent is also a forbidden time for dance parties. I remember that during my childhood we didn't turn on the radio at home during the fast, and if so, only dim during the news. If dance music started playing on the radio, Mom immediately turned off the radio. 

Even in the middle of the 20th century, in our region (Šariš, Zemplín, their borderlands) on the Ash Center, the housewives thoroughly scrubbed all the dishes with ash so that no greasy stain remained on it. Meat usually did not eat the whole fast, but if some cooked meat in the fast, then only on Sunday. In addition - Greek Catholics on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Roman Catholics on Wednesdays and Fridays - abstained not only on meat dishes but also milk and egg meals during the fast (many continue to do so to this day). At that time, they consumed the most potatoes, sauerkraut, and legumes, cooking stews and mash only on water and vegetable oils. In the northern villages of the Vranov nad Topľou district (Ďapalovce, Piskorovce), dairy and egg dishes were not eaten for 40 days, even women covered their mouths with a scarf when milking cows and other milk jobs.

As for the abstention of meat dishes and fasting not only during Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the whole fasting period, but during the whole ecclesiastical year, the Church also granted exemptions. In the book of the founder of the Association of St. Adalbert Dr. Andrej Radlinský, which was published under the title Religious Outpourings with the subtitle Informative and Ceremonial Prayer Book with a Unified Church Songbook for a Catholic Christian for Use in the Church and at Home (14th revised and supplemented edition, Trnava 1945; 1760 pp.), The table of fasting discipline is given and explanations of meat dishes.

According to this book, meat was any meat and meat prepared from meat, including meat soup and greaves. The meat of fish, frogs, wild duck, and crayfish were exempted from this ban, as well as all kinds of fats - ointments (pork, melted bacon, beef, goose, etc.) - with these ointments it was always possible to prepare meals and eat them with bread. In the east of Slovakia, according to what I mentioned above, there was a much stricter fast among people.

In the period after the gentle revolution for all dioceses of Czechoslovakia on January 8, 1992, at the 8th session of the Conference of Bishops of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in Brno approved fasting discipline still valid today: believers are on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday not only fasting, ie eating no more than three times a day, of which only once to satiety. Certain fasting reliefs apply to children, the elderly and the sick.

In the folk tradition, Ash Wednesday was also called Crooked Wednesday. It was believed that on this day they could not sew, embroider or sow and lay eggs under hens, ducks and geese because they would hatch with crooked legs.

Source: (https://krupova.blog.sme.sk/c/401900/o-popolcovej-strede-a-poste.html)


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