Lent is upon us - the spiritual time of repentance in the Christian calendar which offers a chance to say sorry to God.
For many people Ash Wednesday is the start of a period of prayer, fasting and repentance, which lasts throughout the forty (week) days of Lent to Easter Day.
Across our diocese, the ashes, made from the palm fronds woven into crosses for last year’s Palm Sunday, were used to mark the sign of the cross on people’s foreheads – the ash is a potent symbol of mortality, as well as a reminder of our need to repent.
This Ash Wednesday the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, the Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Simon Cowling and cathedral clergy took ashes into the city centre and the Ridings Shopping Centre around lunchtime to offer to people.
Bishop Tony explained: "The marking of a cross on the forehead with ash is a simple yet powerful way of reminding ourselves of our mortality.
"For Christians it enables us to begin the season of Lent renewing our relationship with God in preparation for celebrating Holy Week and Easter."
He is pictured, right, outside the city's Ridings shopping centre with the cathedral's Canon Precentor Leah-Vasey Saunders.
The Dean of Wakefield said: “Ash Wednesday is one of the most significant dates in the Christian calendar when people are encouraged to reflect on their lives, and to think of ways in which they might find it helpful for their lives to change.
“Ashes are a visible reminder of our mortality and of the importance of making the most of our lives, and we will be there to help people who might want to be part of this on this day.”
Stations of the Cross – there will be an hour of prayer and devotion tracing the 14 stations of the cross in the cathedral through art and words, with the cathedral curate, the Revd Tim Stevens.
Saturday, April 13, 5pm to 6pm. All welcome.