We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ASHES, BLESSED

A sacramental of the Church used mainly on Ash Wednesday to remind the faithful of death and the necessity of penance and contrition especially during the Lenten season. The use of ashes, expressing humiliation and sorrow, was common in ancient religions and is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. Introduced into the early Church by converts from Judaism, for many centuries ashes were imposed only on public penitents, those who had given public scandal. The ashes were used to sprinkle the penitential garb, which they wore on Ash Wednesday as they stood at the church door. Catholics, including priests, now receive ashes that are placed on the head of the penitent accompanied by the words "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel," or "Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return." Unused palms from the previous Palm Sunday, burned, furnish the ashes for use on Ash Wednesday.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Social Media’s Vanity Fair: Danger on every side! 17 hours ago
The Ways of Evangelization March 3
Evangelization and the Gift of Meaning March 3
Two links - moral relativism in elementary schools and charges of "genocide" in the Old Testament March 3
Don’t touch that Smile! Helping CatholicCulture.org by shopping on Amazon. March 2

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5