Why We Can All Celebrate Ash Wednesday & Lent

In honor of Ash Wednesday, here’s a re-post that got great feedback last year, from religious nuts to atheists. ❤

Stacey Venzel

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Today marks Ash Wednesday, the kick-off of Lent. It is my favorite day of the Church calendar and, quite frankly, one of my favorite celebrations of the year.

Whether or not you are religious, the take-away message from this liturgical season is powerful.

The religious founding of Ash Wednesday uses fasting to connect Christians to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. Fasting for the Lenten season extends beyond abstaining from food at certain hours of the day.

In my Catholic elementary school, we had Lenten promise sticker charts. Every student in the class “gave up” something for Lent in the traditional, sacrificial way: no TV, no ice cream, no Legos until Easter. (Sundays could be freebies as they are not counted in the 40 days of Lent, but bonus stickers to those who kept their promise all the way through.)

As I grew older, my Lenten promises became…

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