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The Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday

by Brant Pitre February 23, 2017 13 Comments

 

In this video, Dr. Pitre gives insight into the Biblical foundation for Ash Wednesday, as well as the rationale and purpose of the season of Lent. He addresses questions such as: 

• Why do you we use ashes?
• Why are we asked of the Church to increase our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving during Lent?
• Is Lent just about abstaining from a favorite food, or is there something more to it?


You can also find a related cd set below on The Temptations of Jesus & the Fall of Adam: A Desert of Victory & a Garden of Defeat

The Temptations of Jesus and the Fall of Adam

 

 

 

 



Brant Pitre
Brant Pitre

Author



13 Responses

Monika
Monika

March 10, 2017

Thank you Dr. Pitre for such an understandable and thorough explanation of the scriptural roots of ashes and sackcloth as a sign of mortality, repentance and intercessory power through true and secret humility of heart and bodily fasting, intensified prayer and almsgiving. I truly appreciated the exegesis on the lectionary readings for Ash Wednesday and showing how our public communal official fast day is the invitation that begins our personal Lenten season of interior repentance to return wholeheartedly to God bodily, spiritually and socially. WHEN you pray, fast, give alms… the 3 explicit commands from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, done in secret, is the expectation of all disciples! And not reducing fasting to mere abstinence is a much needed reminder in this day and age. Thank you for uniting historical, Biblical, liturgical, communal and personal aspects of Ash Wednesday, Lent and the Paschal Mystery. Thanking God for your gift of teaching!

Ashok
Ashok

March 01, 2017

Thank you Dr Brant Pitre this video is very informative, insightful. In the aftermath year of violence it is very remarkably helpful for us to celebrate of Ashwednessday

Janifer Younus
Janifer Younus

February 27, 2017

Thank you Dr Brant Pitre this video is very informative, I think catholic churches all around the world especially in Pakistan should also focus on providing such information.

joyce ross
joyce ross

February 26, 2017

Thank You Dr Pitre I really enjoyed your video,very interesting as always. You are an excellent teacher of the bible.

Ed. Sita
Ed. Sita

February 26, 2017

Thank you Dr. Pitre for this outstanding presentation on the meaning and background of Ash Wednesday. It was clear, humorous, informative and very insightful. Never have heard the likes of it in my 86 years a Catholic.
Wish I could have had the opportunity to printout the text of this excellent work so I would have had a treasure to read and reread.

Joan Perez
Joan Perez

February 26, 2017

Dr. Pitre ~ Oh…my…gosh! I’m coming up on 75 yrs of life and still learning. This was a fantastic presentation and has given me a better and broader view of Ash Wednesday. In the next few days, I’ll definitely be thinking on how I can better live this 2017 Lent. Thank you so much!

Josephine
Josephine

February 24, 2017

Thank you so much for making me appreciate my catholic faith even more . I feel like for the first time I am gonna have a meaningful lent thanks to your insights . Will be sharing these verses and insights with my friends too . It’s like God sent you to prepare us for this lent . Thanking God for you . Be blessed

Margaret Gilmer
Margaret Gilmer

February 24, 2017

The best explanation of Ash Wednesday/Lent I have ever heard. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Barbara ficaro
Barbara ficaro

February 24, 2017

Very excellent instruction as always. It was very good to see the links among the three components of Lent. I also picked up a hint of a reference for what was called the ember days. Though before my time, I clearly remember hearing my grandparents speak of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. Also, I really liked the reminder that we use our bodies to alert our souls two that need for repentance. I have been teaching that in lent to explain our reasoning for giving up certain things. Many thanks.
Olga Ramirez
Olga Ramirez

February 23, 2017

Incredible, this is so informative, every Catholic and non-catholic needs to hear this. Proud to be Catholic! Thank you Brant you do amazing work.

Debbie Curti
Debbie Curti

February 23, 2017

This was a fantastic and rewarding presentation. I feel this is the first time I truly understand Ash Wednesday. I am 60 yo. I now know what to say if someone asks why ashes and I understand it for myself. I really appreciate the perspective and association to our Jewish roots. It makes understanding this so much simpler.
Thank you so much.

Tim Morris
Tim Morris

February 23, 2017

Esther 14:1-3 ? In the Catholic Study bible second edition, I found this passage in Chapter C:12-13 after chapter 4. There was Chapter C and D between Chapter 4 and 5. Can you give me a quick comment on how the book of Esther is so mixed up? Thank You.

Cathy Schaffer
Cathy Schaffer

February 23, 2017

Fantastic presentation! I wish every Catholic could see or hear this and understand not only the Old Testament background of ashes, but also that Lent is about more than giving something up and not eating meat on Friday. I love that Dr. Pitre brought out that Jesus tells us in Matthew’s gospel the “when” not “if” on the 3 pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. He shows that Jesus expects us to already be doing ALL THREE and that Lent is a time to take it up a notch and re-connect with God in a special way in this dedicated time that the Church so wonderfully gives us. Also really enjoyed the tie-in to Jesus’ temptation in the desert and how he succeeds in the areas of sin that Adam failed at in the garden: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life. Loved it. I also enjoy his sense of humor and that he can laugh at his own jokes…thank goodness we only put ashes on our heads and not Queen Esther’s extra head adornment. Almost as good as “there is no ham in Beth-lehem”. Thanks so much for making this available to all of us out here who are trying to swim upstream.

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