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Ash Wednesday ushers in Lenten season

February 21, 2012

Photo by Becky Polaski - Palm fronds, such as the ones pictured above, are typically burned to create the ashes which are distributed on Ash Wednesday. The palm fronds traditionally come from the Palm Sunday of the previous year.

Today marks the start of Lent, an annual period of sacrifice and reflection that lasts for 40 days, not counting Sundays, leading up to Easter.
Fr. Ross Miceli, campus minister at Elk County Catholic High School, explained that Sundays are not counted because "if you do the math, you end up with like 46 days before Easter, so you can't count Sundays."
"Sundays are always a celebration of the Resurrection, even during Lent," Miceli said. "Sunday is supposed to be a time of celebration. Some people traditionally celebrate perhaps what they gave up during Lent. If you gave up candy, on Sunday you could have candy. If you gave up pop, soda, or whatever people call it, you could have that on Sunday, again to commemorate the Resurrection, not for any other vain reasons."

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