What is the significance of ashes being placed on the forehead on Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. It is a day of penitence and remembrance of our sins of the past and our ultimate mortality. Palm branches are usually burned and the sign of the cross is placed on the forehead using the ashes. Sometimes a small card or piece of paper is distributed on which each person writes a sin he wishes to be rid of. The cards are then brought to the altar to be burned along with the palm branches. The ash cross is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins. Visit the Upper Room's Ask Julian web site for more information.