Ash Wednesday

8 pm Joint CTWW Ash Wednesday Service with the Imposition of Ashes and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

As in the previous two years, Churches together in West Wickham will be holding a joint Ash Wednesday Service. The service will be held here at Emmanuel and it will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes for those who wish to  participate.

I will lead the service and preside at Communion. Ashing will be done by Revd. Hazel O’Sullivan from St Francis and St Mary’s and the   sermon will be preached by Mr Martin Ferris.

Please do come if you can.

I saw this item on the internet and found it interesting. Perhaps it explains why the early Reformers dropped the practice of “ashing” from our Reformed Tradition?  

 The practice of putting ashes on one’s forehead has been known from ancient times. In the Nordic pagan religion, placing ashes above one’s brow was believed to ensure the protection of the Norse god, Odin. This practice spread to Europe during the Vikings’ conquests. This laying on of ashes was done on Wednesday, the day named for Odin, Odin’s Day. Interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, one of Odin’s names is Ygg. The same is Norse for the word Ash. This name “Ygg”, closely resembles the Vedic name “Agni” in pronunciation.

In the Vedic Indian religion Ashes were believed to be the seed of Agni, the Indian fire god. It is from this name that the Latin word for fire came, “ignis.” It is from this root word that the English language got the words, ignite, igneous and ignition. Agni was said to have the authority to forgive sins. Ashes were also believed to be symbolic for the purifying blood of the Vedic god Shiva, which, it is said, had the power to cleanse sins.