Millions of Filipino Catholics will troop to churches today to observe Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day Lenten period.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines says this is the start of the day devoted to fasting and abstinence when Filipino faithful across the country attend Masses and receive ashes on their foreheads made from fronds used at last year’s Palm Sunday.
“The season of Lent is a time for almsgiving, prayer and fasting,” the CBCP said.
The ash will be applied on the faithful’s forehead, forming a cross, to signify submission to Christ, remorse for sins, and a turning away from sin. The ash also symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which resulted in man’s freedom from sin.
It also reminds the faithful that life is short and, one day, man will return to ashes.
The CBCP has reminded the faithful to fast and live the essence of Ash Wednesday.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said Lenten season was a time for good works and charity, as he urged Filipino families to go back to God and nation.