Ash Wednesday 2017 is a fasting day celebrated by many Christians. The Christians that honor the day are Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Methodists. In the Western Christianity, it is the first day of Lent. The day comes forty-six days before Easter. It can come between February 4 to March 10.

Ash Wednesday 2017

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Jesus Christ fasted for forty days in the desert where he denied every temptation offered by Satan. It is the time to prepare for Easter. Each Sunday was celebrated as to honor Christ’s resurrection, which was considered as a feast day. Thus fasting on the day was inappropriate. To complete the fasting time of forty days, Christians during the six weeks fasted from Monday to Saturday. Also in the preceding week, they fasted from Wednesday to Saturday totaling to forty days of fasting. The Orthodox Christian do forty days of fasting in a row.

Ash Wednesday comes from blessing ashes on previous year’s Palm Sunday where ashes from Palm branches are made. The ashes are placed on heads of people who participate.

When is Ash Wednesday 2017?

Here is the Ash Wednesday countdown 2017. If you want to use this countdown for website, contact us.

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In 2017, the Ash Wednesday comes on March 1.


Ashes on Ash Wednesday are sprinkled or applied on heads of Christians. In most countries cross made from the ashes on the forehead. The words that are said while putting the ashes are “ Remember that you are dust and to dust, you shall return.” In the revision of the Roman Rite in 1969, a new formula was used and give first place which was “ Repent and believe in the Gospel.” The first was the words spoken after the sin of Adam and Eve, which was to remind Christians of the sins and mortality. It is a way to make people apologize in time.

There are many ways ashes are used on worshipers. The two most popular in the Roman Rite of Catholic Church are the use of ashes to make a cross on the forehead and to sprinkle ash on the head. In olden times ashes were sprinkled on men, and for women, it was placed on the forehead. This was because women covered their heads in the church. There is no fixed rule on how to put ashes on worshippers. However, old records show it was sprinkled on the head. The making of the cross on the forehead is the mostly followed in English-speaking countries.

In the Anglo Church of Papua New Guinea in its publication mentions rituals of the blessing of ashes where ashes are blessed at the start of the Eucharist. After this ashes are put on the forehead of clergy and people. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome customarily take part in a procession starting from Cheech of Saint Anselm to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. As custom in Italy and many other countries around the world, the ashes are sprinkled and not put on the forehead.

According to the Anglican ritual in Papua New Guinea says after the blessing of ashes, the priest puts ashes on his forehead and then on foreheads of servers. Then after to worshippers who kneel or stand while they get blessed Sacrament. In some Catholic rituals, people take ashes to their home to place on members of the family who could not attend the ceremony.

Major Christian churches like the Anglican, Catholic, Methodists and Baptists in 2007, participated in the Go Program. It is a where the clergy goes outside of their church to public places where they would sprinkle ashes on passersby.

Source of Ashes

According to the Catholic Church and the Methodist, church ashes should be from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service where palm branches are blessed. It can be made from burnt palm crosses according to the Church of England. No sources say anything about adding anything to the ashes. A sprinkling of holy water is done while blessing them. Some Anglican mention ashes to be mixed few drops of holy water or olive oil. The ash blessed cross on

The ash blessed cross on the forehead can be removed immediately or kept for the entire day. There is no such compulsion or rule. However, Christians are encouraged to keep the ash cross on the forehead or the whole days to exercise religious freedom.

Churches on Ash Wednesday

Below are churches that observe Ash Wednesday.

1African Methodist Episcopal Church
2African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
3Anglican Catholic Church
4Anglican Communion
5Christian Church
6Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
7Churches of the Nazarene
8Church of God
9Community of Christ
10Ecclesia Gnostica
11Evangelical Covenant Church
12Free Churches
13Independent Catholic
14Liberal Catholic Church
15Lutheran Church
16Mennonite Brethren Church
17Mennonite Church Canada
18Mennonite Church Canada USA
19Methodist Church in Great Britain
20Methodist Church in India
21Metropolitan Community Church
22Mexican National Catholic Churches
23Moravian Church
24Old Catholic Church
25Reformed Churches
26Roman Catholic Church
27Traditional Anglican Comminion
28United Church of Christ
29United Methodist Church
30Wesleyan Church

Fasting on Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a day where people fast and don’t eat meat. It is a day when one asks forgiveness on all sins. It is a day of fasting mentioned in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Although in other Christian denominations it is optional. Although the main focus of the festival is to show regret of the sins committed. Latin Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. People who are of age 18 to 59 have only one full meal a day. They can choose to have two small meals which should not be equal to one full meal.

Many Catholics fast even more than a requirement by the church. They do a complete fast with no eating or just bread and water. As all Fridays in the month of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. Even Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat.

Originally Catholics used to fast throughout the month Of Lent. In olden times the day was seen as to confess one’s sins. And receive absolution. Dutch people eat salted herring on Ash Wednesday to end the Carnival in the Netherlands.

Ash Wednesday Quotes

Most of the people celebrate Ash Wednesday by sharing quotes with their family and friends. Here is the list of such Ash Wednesday quotes to share:

  • Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for you who can become. – Happy Ash Wednesday 2017.
    Happy Ash Wednesday Quote

    Ash Wednesday Quote

  • “Lent reminds us, therefore, that Christian life is a never-ending combat in which the “weapons” of prayer, fasting, and penance are used. Fighting against evil, against every form of selfishness and hate, and dying to oneself to live in God is the ascetic journey that every disciple of Jesus is called to make with humility and patience, generosity and perseverance.” – 2006
  • “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; man became a living soul.” Happy Ash Wednesday
  • “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” – Ecclesiastes 3:20
  • Everything in life has its own time. There is time to celebrate, and there is time to mourn. This is the time for reflection and transformation. Let us look within and change into what we ought to be.
    ~ Aaron Saul
  • “May Mary, our guide on the Lenten journey, lead us to ever deeper knowledge of the dead and Risen Christ, help us in the spiritual combat against sin, and sustain us as we pray with conviction: “Converte nos, Deus salutaris noster” — “Convert us to you, O God, our salvation”. Amen!” – 2011
  • It is not just about giving up our favorite food but it’s about going further and giving up things like hatred and unforgiveness. You need to clean your heart and prepare yourself for purity. Happy Ash Wednesday 2017.
    ~ Amanda Jobs

Wishing you a very happy Ash Wednesday 2017.