Ash Wednesday Rites in the Armenian Catholic Church
As all Catholic Churches, the Armenian Catholic Church also entered the Lenten period. While carnivals were held in many parts of the world before the start of the forty-days-long fasting period before the Easter, Ash Wednesday was held in Istanbul Armenian Catholic churches like every year.
At the end of the ritual held on the first day of the fasting period the parish priests poured ashes on the foreheads of the faithful. These ashes are obtained by the burning of the olive branches that were blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. During the Lenten period, the believers will not consume any food of animal origin. As it is customary in the Armenian Churches, the curtains on the altars will remain closed during the 40-day fasting period.