February 16th, 2021
Ash Wednesday in the Holy Land
Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent are quickly approaching. The day is commonly commemorated by Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans and many other Christian communities around the world.
It is most recognized by the ashes ceremonially put on the foreheads of the faithful. This goes back to ancient times, when ashes were a symbol used to express grief.
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
In Jerusalem, Ash Wednesday is normally marked with pilgrims and local Christians coming together. Around the empty tomb of Christ in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, you can typically find all nationalities celebrating the beginning of Lent.
This year in 2021, Ash Wednesday and all the Holy days leading up to Easter will look different in the Holy Land.
Only the local faithful will be here, walking along the Old City’s cobblestone streets. But just because pilgrimages are not visiting, does not mean that you can not make a Holy Land prayer request.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread’. Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.” Matthew 4:1-4