Pope Benedict XVI

"Beauty... is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God Himself and His revelation."
(Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 35)

22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris 

Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thous shalt return
(Gen. 3:19).

The images below are taken from an engraving in the 1595 Pontificale Romanum Clementis VIII. pont. max. iussu restitutum atque editum

They form a series of three illustrating the public expulsion of penitents from the community of the church on Ash Wednesday. After listening to a sermon by the bishop on the expulsion of Adam from paradise, the exemplar for their own expulsion, the penitents wearing hair shirts, carrying candles, and weeping are ejected from the church.

"Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting" (St Basil the Great).

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