Guest Submission: The Draw of the Ashes: Ash Wednesday and the Desire for Repentance

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by Marcus Mills. You can view Mr Mills’s work at cornfedcatholic

 It’s a peculiar fact which puzzles Catholics and other Christians throughout the world that Ash Wednesday could likely be regarded as one of the highest attended masses throughout the entire year, with attendance likely outnumbering even Easter Sunday which Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent are meant to lead to. Upon walking into a Catholic Church on this day, one could ask the question, “Is today a holy day of obligation?” to which the answer would be, “No.” This means that, despite there being no obligation upon the Catholic faithful to attend mass on this day, people are showing up in droves. For some, this day could mark the return to regular mass attendance. For others, they may never be seen again until next year. This observation leaves many priests and lay faithful scratching their heads asking, “What gives?”

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3 thoughts on “Guest Submission: The Draw of the Ashes: Ash Wednesday and the Desire for Repentance

  1. Maybe people pack the church on Ash Wednesday, because they receive more of what they lack the rest of the year!

  2. I attended just because, Mas @ 6 pm, place was packed as if it were midnight mass AND not 1 sniff of wine or Rummed up eggnog. Families, young families with alot of children too. Kids were even good, great actually!
    Do the Catholics in earnest, actually see the beginning of sorrows or is “THE SPIRIT” moving to find the delivers of “DREAMS and VISIONS” for the end of days? I surely do not know but it was great to see the faithful on a week night!

  3. Interesting! My daughter wanted to go this year but couldn’t find one she could attend. Something excited her. I wonder if people go to Ash Wednesday Mass to get an outward sign they truly are Catholic even if they don’t attend Mass otherwise.


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