Ardenti Palmarum

The Holy Season of Lent begins with the Ash Wednesday. Catholic churches all over the world, as well as St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, prepare the congregation and the students to better appreciate Christ’s death and resurrection through self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting and self-denial. Through the CLE classes, students were asked to bring palms from previous year’s Palm Sunday and these are burnt in the Rite of Burning of Palms on February 13. With these ashes, the priest marks a cross on the foreheads of worshipers, saying, “Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19). Besides showing sorrow for sins, those who honor Ash Wednesday add an additional meaning; the need to prepare for a holy death.

Did you know that …

… the palms remind us of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem?

… palm trees have two different types of leaves: palmate and pinnate.

… not all palm trees are “trees,” and not all plants called “palms” are truly palms?

… the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday?

… the day before the Lent begins is called Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras?

… Ash Wednesday has a non-Christian origin and was accepted into the beliefs of the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD?

… Ash Wednesday is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, however, from Biblical times, sprinkling oneself with ashes has been a mark of sorrow for sin?

… the original meaning of “lent” is “spring”?