Traditionally, the ashes for the Ash Wednesday service come from burning the palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration.
Ashes were a biblical symbol of mourning and penance when the custom was to fast, wear a sackcloth, sit in dust and ashes, and put dust and ashes on one’s head. Blessed ashes have been used in God’s ritual since the time of Moses.
They also symbolize death and so remind us of our mortality. Thus, when the minister uses their thumb to sign one of the faithful with the ashes, they may say, “Remember you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.”
You may bring your old palms to the rectory during regular business hours or place them in the basket at the back of the church.
Join us for the Prayer Service at the Padre Pio Plaza at 9 am on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, as we burn last year’s palm branches which we will use for Ash Wednesday.