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St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School

Ash Wednesday - we start the season of Lent

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the 40 days of Lent. We begin the season of Lent by receiving ashes on our forehead. This day is very important because it marks the start of Lent, leading us to Easter – the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

While the priest places the ashes on our forehead, he says: “Repent and believe in the Gospel”, or “Turn away from sin and love God more” which is the phrase we use in school. The ashes symbolise our readiness to repent; to say sorry to God and to our brothers and sisters for the wrongs we have done.  

One story from the Bible that mention ashes as a sign of repentance is the story of the prophet Jonah. When Jonah preached repentance to Nineveh, the sinful city, the king covered himself in sackcloth and ashes and ordered the people to do the same (Jonah 3:6–9). Ashes and sackcloth were signs people used to show that they are willing to make a big change in their lives. We are marked with ashes for the same reason: to show that we are willing to change, to become more like Jesus; loving, kind, forgiving, respectful and serving.

During Lent, we focus on three important actions, in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter:                                                              

 First of all, we need to pray every day. In prayer we ask God to help us to become a good and loving person. We pray for our families, school, community, the world and for those who suffer. We listen carefully to the Word of God and apply it to our lives.

The second thing we need to do is to fast; by giving up things such as snacks or watching TV or games we like most. It’s hard work, but it makes us stronger for God.

The third thing is to help those in need- almsgiving; think how you can be charitable to your friends, neighbours and other children who are less fortunate than you are. During this Lent can you think how you can share what you do have with those who do not. You might decide to give up something you love for the period of Lent, so that you may help others who are in need.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the 40 days of Lent. We begin the season of Lent by receiving ashes on our forehead. This day is very important because it marks the start of Lent, leading us to Easter – the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

While the priest places the ashes on our forehead, he says: “Repent and believe in the Gospel”, or “Turn away from sin and love God more” which is the phrase we use in school. The ashes symbolise our readiness to repent; to say sorry to God and to our brothers and sisters for the wrongs we have done.  

One story from the Bible that mention ashes as a sign of repentance is the story of the prophet Jonah. When Jonah preached repentance to Nineveh, the sinful city, the king covered himself in sackcloth and ashes and ordered the people to do the same (Jonah 3:6–9). Ashes and sackcloth were signs people used to show that they are willing to make a big change in their lives. We are marked with ashes for the same reason: to show that we are willing to change, to become more like Jesus; loving, kind, forgiving, respectful and serving.

During Lent, we focus on three important actions, in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter:                                                              

 First of all, we need to pray every day. In prayer we ask God to help us to become a good and loving person. We pray for our families, school, community, the world and for those who suffer. We listen carefully to the Word of God and apply it to our lives.

The second thing we need to do is to fast; by giving up things such as snacks or watching TV or games we like most. It’s hard work, but it makes us stronger for God.

The third thing is to help those in need- almsgiving; think how you can be charitable to your friends, neighbours and other children who are less fortunate than you are. During this Lent can you think how you can share what you do have with those who do not. You might decide to give up something you love for the period of Lent, so that you may help others who are in need.

Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address Barham Court, Teston, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary Schoo is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.

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