Ash Wednesday: A reminder that we are dust and unto dust we shall return

FATHER LUKE FONG explains the significance of the ritual

The placing of ashes makes it clear that every person in the Church is constantly in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

There are many rituals in the Catholic Church which may seem strange or even bizarre to the uninitiated. Looking from the outside, some of these rituals can perhaps come off looking a tad peculiar and almost anomalous to anything that proclaims to be rational and sound.

One of these may be the imposition of ashes on our foreheads once a year, when the liturgical season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

Questions on the Faith: About cremation

Q: During Bible Study, we discussed what our resurrected bodies would look like and this led to the subject of Catholic burial. Some of us do not understand the Catholic Church’s stand that the cremated ashes of a Catholic can only be kept or deposited on holy ground which today means in a church columbarium. [...]

Pope To Preside Over Imposition Of Ashes In Vatican Basilica

Vatican City, 12 February 2013 (VIS) – Wednesday, 13 February at 5:00pm, the Holy Father will celebrate the rite of blessing and imposition of ashes in the Vatican Basilica, instead of the Roman Basilica of Santa Sabina, where the celebration is traditionally held. The reason, as Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press [...]

New Funeral Rites: No To The Scattering Of The Ashes Of The Deceased

Vatican City, 30 March 2012 (VIS) – The second Italian-language edition of the “Funeral Rites”, produced by the Vatican Publishing House, was presented recently at the headquarters of Vatican Radio. Among other things, the new edition contains fully revised biblical texts and prayers. The first novelty refers to the visit to the family, which was [...]

The origins of Lent

THE NEW TESTAMENT emphasizes the centrality of the Resurrection for the first Christians, and Easter soon became the church’s central feast. Following the Jewish practice of fasting before a major commemorative day, the Christians initiated a fast before Easter. Unfortunately, the ancient sources about this are sketchy. We cannot say exactly when it began. A [...]

Catholic heroes’ ashes interred at Holy Spirit columbarium

  SINGAPORE – The remains of Father Anthony Schotte and Bishop Carlo van Melckebeke were installed at Church of the Holy Spirit’s columbarium on Friday Oct 24 following a requiem Mass. Both priests belonged to the CICM, an international religious missionary institute. Father Anthony Schotte founded Church of the Holy Spirit. The Mass was concelebrated [...]