[www.inewsguyana.com] – Hundreds of Guyanese left their homes, places of work and businesses and converged at Cathedrals across the country as they joined the rest of the world in observing Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians worldwide.
Lent is commonly known as the season of penance, reflection, fasting and remembrance.
iNews captured images of children, adolescents, adults and the elderly of all class and ethnic background at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Brickdam, Georgetown where they visited to receive ashes on their foreheads, pray and take communion.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar, directly following Shrove Tuesday. Occurring 46 days before Easter, it is a moveable feast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.
According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. Of the 46 days until Easter, six are Sundays. As the Christian designation of Sabbath, Sundays are not included in the fasting period and are instead “feast” days during Lent.
Ash Wednesday derived its name from the practice of placing ashes (formally called The Imposition of Ashes) on the foreheads of adherents as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.