Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday ngayon. Kaninang morning, nagisip ako kung paano ako makakapagsimba. Super tagal ko na kaseng di nakakattend ng mass eh. Magwa-one monnth na. Hindi kase lagi pwede yung bestfriend ko pag niyayayako. Ayun. So ayun nga, nagiisip ako kanina kung paano ako makakapagsimba at naisip ko yung chapel dito sa building.

Pagpakapasok ko kanina, nag-in lang ako at diretso na ako sa sa baba para puntahan yung chapel and para na din bumili ng pwedeng i-breakfast kase hindi pa ako nagaalmusal. Pumunta ako sa basement kung saan nakapwesto yung chapel at nagtanong ako sa guard tungkol sa schedule ng mass. Ang sabi niya, kadalasan daw na 12:00 nn daw yung mass kaya naisip kong maaga kumain para umabot sa mass.

Nagmail ako sa mga kasabay kong kumain kung pwede bang agahan naming kumain. Pumayag naman sila. Diretso na ako sa chapel after eating. Nabigla ako sa dami ng tao. Hindi ko akalain na madami palang aattend ng mass kase akala ko super busy ng mga tao at baka sa gabi na lang sila umattend ng mass. So ayun na nga. Nagulat ako kase malapit na sa homily yung mass. Naisip ko na maaga sigurong nagstart. Nakatayo lang ako throughout the mass kase nga madaming tao. Natapos naman ng matiwasay ang misa at nalagyan ako ng abo sa noo.

Teka, ano nga ba ibig sabihin nung paglalagay ng abo sa noo? Wait, lemme check the ever famous and reliable wikipedia. Eto na:

Ash Wednesday, in the Western Christian calendar, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays) before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 (February 5 on leap years) or as late as March 10.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms or Palm Crosses from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned.

This practice is common in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans. 

At Masses and services of worship on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful (or on the tonsure spots, in the case of some clergy). The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until it wears off. The act echoes the ancient Near Eastern tradition of throwing ashes over one's head to signify repentance before God (as related in the Bible). The priest or minister says one of the following when applying the ashes:

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
—Genesis 3:19

Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
—Mark 1:15

Repent, and hear the good news.
—Mark 1:15

The liturgical imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday is a sacramental, not a sacrament, and in the Roman Catholic understanding of the term the ashes themselves are also a sacramental. The ashes are blessed according to various rites proper to each liturgical tradition, sometimes involving the use of Holy Water. In some churches, they are mixed with a small amount of water or olive oil,  which serve as a fixative. In most liturgies for Ash Wednesday, the Penitential psalms are read; Psalm 51 (LXX Psalm 50) is especially associated with this day. The service also often includes a corporate confession rite.

In some of the low church traditions, other practices are sometimes added or substituted, as other ways of symbolizing the confession and penitence of the day. For example, in one common variation, small cards are distributed to the congregation on which people are invited to write a sin they wish to confess. These small cards are brought forth to the altar table where they are burned.

In the Roman Catholic Church, ashes, being sacramentals, may be given to anyone who wishes to receive them, as opposed to Catholic sacraments, which are generally reserved for church members, except in cases of grave necessity. Similarly, in other Christian denominations ashes may be received by all who profess the Christian faith and are baptized.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance—a day of contemplating one's transgressions. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer also designates Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting. In the medieval period, Ash Wednesday was the required annual day of penitential confession occurring after fasting and the remittance of the tithe. In other Christian denominations these practices are optional, with the main focus being on repentance. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Roman Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 (whose health enables them to do so) are permitted to consume only one full meal, which may be supplemented by two smaller meals, which together should not equal the full meal. Some Roman Catholics will go beyond the minimum obligations demanded by the Church and undertake a complete fast or a bread and water fast. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are also days of abstinence from meat,as are all Fridays in Lent (before the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council's liturgical reforms, every Friday of the year was a day of abstinence from meat, which some still follow). Some Roman Catholics continue fasting during the whole of Lent, as was the Church's traditional requirement, concluding only after the celebration of the Easter Vigil.

As the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday comes the day after Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season.
Ayan. So bahala na kayong magbasa to further dig the meaning of Ash Wednesday. Click here na lang din for better and deeper understanding pa tungkol sa nasabing okasyon. Again, keep safe. Godbless us all.

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