Catholics Mark Ash Wednesday in the Philippines, Bongbong Marcos’s Campaign Coincides

Catholics in the Philippines mark Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent; politicians like Bongbong Marcos campaign during this season of repentance.

Catholics in the Philippines gather in churches today to observe Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. On this day, they have a priest or minister draw a cross of ashes on their foreheads. (14 Feb 2024)

Catholics Observe Ash Wednesday in the Philippines

Catholics in the Philippines join millions of Christians worldwide as they observe Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season. This tradition holds great significance for believers as it symbolizes repentance, reflection, and preparation for Easter. On Ash Wednesday, participants have a priest or minister mark their foreheads with ashes in the shape of a cross. The ashes are typically made from the palm branches used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration.

The marking of ashes serves as a reminder of human mortality, with the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” often accompanying the gesture. This act of humility and introspection encourages believers to reflect on their sins and seek forgiveness as they enter a period of self-examination and spiritual growth.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines plays a significant role in upholding this centuries-old tradition during the Lenten season. It provides a sacred space for worshipers to come together and participate in rituals that deepen their faith. The marking of ashes serves as a visible symbol of commitment and devotion to their spiritual journey.

This year’s Ash Wednesday also coincides with an ongoing political landscape in the country. Notably, Bongbong Marcos, son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, launched his campaign for the upcoming presidential elections. As Catholics engage in this season of repentance and reflection, it will be interesting to observe how political figures navigate this important religious occasion.

List of Ash Wednesday observances in the Philippines:

  • Masses held in Catholic churches across the country
  • Devotees lining up to have a priest or minister draw a cross of ashes on their foreheads
  • Various prayers and services focused on repentance and reflection
  • Many Catholics also voluntarily abstain from meat and other indulgences during Lent
  • Catholic Church official statement on Ash Wednesday:

    “Ash Wednesday serves as a significant reminder for Catholics to enter a period of reflection and spiritual renewal. By humbly receiving the ashes, believers are called to embrace repentance, seek forgiveness, and journey towards a deeper relationship with God. The Lenten season provides a unique opportunity for individuals to evaluate their lives and make meaningful changes that align with the teachings of Christ.”

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