Where Do Ash Wednesday Ashes Come From?

Washington D.C., Feb 14, 2018 / 01:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Or, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

On Ash Wednesday, millions of Catholics throughout the English-speaking world will hear one of these two blessings as a priest applies ashes to their forehead in the sign of the cross.

But where exactly do the black or grey powdery ashes come from?

Per the instructions of the Roman Missal, ashes are typically supposed to be made from last year’s Palm Sunday palm branches.

These branches are then burned down into a fine powder and, in the United States, are mixed with holy water or chrism oil to create a light paste. In other parts of the world, sometimes dry ashes are sprinkled on the head rather than made into a paste.

BYOA - Burn Your Own Ashes

Where do Ash Wednesday ashes come from?
Here's where Ash Wednesday ashes come from
Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies – Ash Wednesday, Ashes, and Lent
Ash Wednesday: Let Us Enter Into Lent
Ash Wednesday Could Throw Off Your Valentine's Day Plans, But Don't Panic
Ash Wednesday, Valentine's traditions create unique dynamic this week
Field Notes from the Second Week of Lent
Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Hundreds celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass in Crystal Lake
From the Winter Games: Ash Wednesday through the eyes of an Olympic chaplain