Articles on Repentance

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Ash Wednesday ritual at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 6, 2019. P Photo/Jim Mone)

4 things to know about Ash Wednesday

The day that begins the Lenten season is called Ash Wednesday. Here's why it holds deep religious significance for Christians.
Worshipers pray during an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, on March 6, 2019. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Why do Christians wear ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Churches started to use ashes early as the ninth century as a symbol of repentance. In 1091, Pope Urban II ritualized their use to mark the beginning of Lent. Today, churches provide 'ashes to go.'
A woman stands near an exhibit of photographs of victims of the Holocaust called the ‘Klarsfeld Pillars’ in New York. Mike Segar/Reuters

Exploring the complexities of forgiveness

Can the Nazis be forgiven? A rabbi explains why this question needs a more profound examination of some of Judaism's deepest ethical mores and theological beliefs

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