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Ash Wednesday

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The first Wednesday in Lent, so called from an ancient Roman Catholic custom of sprinkling ashes on the heads of those condemned to do penance on this day.

The ashes were those of the palms burnt on Palm Sunday. The pessimi were sprinkled with ashes, the less offending were signed on the forehead with the sign of the cross, the offlciating minister saying, “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” The custom, it is said, was introduced by Gregory the Great.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Ascalaphos
Ascapart
Ascendant
Ascension Day
Asclepiadics
Ascodrogites
Ascot Races
Ascræan Poet
Asgard
Ash Tree
Ash Wednesday
Ashmolean Museum
Ashtaroth
Ashur
Asinus
Asir
~ Ask
Ask and Embla
Aslo
Asmodeus [the destroyer]
Asmodeus