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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17