In the morning, a large number of believers came to celebrate mass in the parish church. Ash wednesday marks the beginning of the 40-day fasting period until easter, during which the five sundays of the fast and palm sunday are exempt from payment.
The ashes had been burned by the city parish priest helmut hetzel in the services in the city parish church st. He blessed the virgin mary magdalene before drawing the cross of ashes on the foreheads of the faithful together with father vincent chettiar. For hetzel, the 40-day fast is commonplace, with many taking it upon themselves to make changes in their lives. The number 40 is a significant number in the bible. So the people of israel spent 40 years in the wilderness and jesus, like the prophet elijah, spent 40 days in the wilderness. It is a time of purification.
Many were still amused on tuesday and should continue to be so. Because it is a matter of changing attitudes, and not so much about superficialities. As the prophet joel had already said: "rend your hearts, not your garments, and turn to the lord your god!"
The faithful are invited to receive the ash cross. Beyond tradition, the ashes are the symbol of transience. The imposition of ashes is the bubritus par excellence. Because the ashes are regarded as a sign of purification and transformation, in order to be able to accept the love of god. Hetzel called on the faithful to consciously receive this great sign. "Everyone is invited to refocus on the gospel and the message of jesus christ during lent." With the words "repent and believe in the gospel" each individual was reminded of the transience of being on earth.
After the end of the housewives’ service, the children of the don bosco children’s home and their director beate vento also came to the church. They also received the ash cross from city pastor helmut hetzel.