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Feb 25, 1998

Students get Ash Wednesday blessing

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It’s a symbolic ritual that is performed religiously every year by millions of Christians worldwide. And while in Belize Ash Wednesday doesn’t mean a holiday, for many, it’s a holy-day and the start of a solemn celebration.

Primary school students from a number of schools around the city took a short break from classes to attend special church services observing Ash Wednesday. The day, which signals the start of the Lenten Season and ends on Easter Sunday, encourages Christians to remember a number of important issues.

Monsignor Dorick Wright

“People come to church and we put ashes on their foreheads and we, sometimes they remember that we are dust and onto dust we shall return. Also we encourage them to believe in the gospel and repent. The purpose of the Lenten Season is to, the purpose is for spiritual renewal.”

For the students at Holy Redeemer Primary School, they did not only have ashes placed on their foreheads, but before the blessing, the boys and girls took part in a question and answer segment. They also listened to readings about the importance of the day and what special sacrifices are expected from Christians during the holy season.

Monsignor Dorick Wright

“On Ash Wednesday and on Fridays of Lent, we should abstain, that is we should not eat the meat of a cold blooded animal and that always presents confusion for people. Cause people want to make the distinction between red meat and white meat and the church laws does not talk about red meat or white meat. It talks about cold blooded animals and warm blooded animals and so as a little sacrifice, we ask people that during the Fridays of Lent, to abstain from eating the meat of warm blooded animals and cold blooded animals.”

Besides making the sacrifices, Christians over the next forty days are also encouraged to do something positive, like coming to the aid of someone in need.

While the term lent is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, the practice dates back to about the second century when churches adopted it to symbolize penance.

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