Do you wonder why some people come to work today with ashes on their foreheads? It’s OK to ask them about it. As with any religious act, most people are happy to tell you their “why.”
In short, for many Christians (including me), Ash Wednesday (today) kicks off the 40-day season of Lent, when we focus on repentance from sins and engage in additional prayer and fasting to prepare us for Easter when the season changes from repentance to joy. Learn more here.
Also, see a skeptic’s modern take on the value of Ash Wednesday here: Choosing the irrational sanity of Ash Wednesday.