Use our images for Ash Wednesday clip art or print the coloring pages. We have ideas for all of Lent and Easter.
What is Ash Wednesday? It is the beginning of the Catholic Lent season that represents the that Our Lord Jesus Christ spent in the desert preparing Himself for His public life. Just as He spent time getting ready for his vocation, many Catholic religious make a retreat before they are ordained or take the habit as a way to prepare for their own vocations.
The rest of us spend the 40 days of Lent preparing our own souls to be worthy of the great sacrifice Jesus made for us on the Cross on Good Friday.
Forty days before Easter Sunday, Catholics remember the meaning of Ash Wednesday by reading the Epistle and the Gospel for the day from the Bible that tells the story of Adam's Fall and Original Sin and God's word to "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." (Genesis Chapter 1) Good Friday is the day of our promised Redemption after the Fall. Easter is the Resurrection.
Before the Ash Wednesday Mass the priest blesses the burnt palms from the previous year's blessed palms of Palm Sunday and the congregation comes to the communion rail to receive the ashes made made on their foreheads in the form of the Cross. St. John the Baptist insisted that we do penance to prepare the way of the Lord, Lent is the most serious time of the year to do it. What is lent?
The date for Ash Wednesday changes every year because the date for Easter is variable. Most of us need a Catholic Liturgical Calendar to keep up with the variable dates, especially now that Pope Benedict XVI has allowed the 1962 Missal with its very different Catholic calendar from the one that most Catholics use today. Many Catholics spend Lent fasting and increasing their prayers during Lent.
I love the book A Doctor at Calvary by Pierre Barbet, M.D. A visitor wrote about using this book as a family meditation and said, "Although certain sections of the book are a bit technical, it has proved an excellent way to really try to "feel" Our Lord's pain in His Passion, even for the little ones."
Dr. Barbet's book is my favorite book that I have read during the Lent season for this very same reason. When I told our children an abbreviated version of what happened on Calvary from his perspective our children began to have a better grasp on the pain that Jesus suffered for each of us. Nothing makes us rejoice on Easter like a good Lent! The harder the Lent the more rejoicing on Easter Sunday.
Most years we find it plenty to do the traditional Lent fasting and abstinence, and adding an effort to have way less food during the week and no sweets - except on Sunday.
What could go better with Catholic catechism classes, saying the Rosary for children, or a Catholic homeschool curriculum? After St. Anne's Helper First Communion and Confirmation Catholic audio books and Catholic Worksheets, free coloring sheets are next!
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