Ash Wednesday

I never knew when Ash Wednesday is. Every year I found out because I see people on the street with the mark on their forehead — the charcoal cross that they wear on their forehead marking the beginning of the Season of Lent. It makes me realized that there are practicing Catholics who are actually around, which is something that I don’t seem to realize everyday.

Whenever I see people wearing the ash mark, I feel guilty. Then I would ask myself, “Should I stop by a church and get some too?” I then feel extremely unfortable. Apart from my issues regarding faiths and beliefs vs. guilt and rituals, today I realized why I might have felt uncomfortable.

In HK, where I grew up as a Catholic, the way to receive ashes is different: priests drop a pinch of ash onto your forehead; it stays on top of the forehead. Never had I seen that they draw a cross with the ashes on you. Now even though it’s the same religion, I feel like it’s a different Catholicism is, here in this country. Differences in languages and practices do make me feel like they are different religions. Now this reinforces my thinking on faiths and beliefs vs. rituals.

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