In the Roman Catholic parish of the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary sprinkled ashes on their heads as a sign of repentance and a symbol of the transience of human existence.
Today the Christians of the Western rite, Ash Wednesday. This day is a Day of repentance – is traditionally celebrated 46 days before Easter(the 40 days of lent and 6 Sundays).
“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” With such old Testament words spoken by the priest during the rite began lent Catholics from the Melitopol. This custom has ancient biblical origins in the old Testament the ceremony of strewing ashes on their heads, meant humility before God. Palm branches, preserved from the last feast of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem (palm Sunday), burned, and harvested the ash is sanctified. The fire, burning the branches of the willows, indicating the fire of love, which turns all sinners into ashes.
On ash Wednesday of the Catholic Church instructs the faithful observe a strict fast on this day can not eat meat and lean foods you can eat to satiety once a day.
Under the post is essentially a special focus on inner spiritual life, penitential meditation, praying, reading Scripture, works of charity. This does not goes against the ancient tradition; as he wrote St. John Chrysostom in the fourth century, “only he who believes that post only in abstinence from food. True fasting is to depart from evil, the curbing of the language, the deposition of anger, the taming of passions, the cessation of slander, lies and perjury”. In Orthodoxy, lent begins on Monday, called Clean Monday.