Is it Right to Share Pictures of Your Ashes on Ash Wednesday via Social Media?

In our modern age, the role of social media in how we express our faith is both fascinating and challenging. One particular practice that has gained attention is the sharing of Ash Wednesday ashes pictures on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Is this practice in line with the teachings and spirit of the Catholic Church? Let’s delve into it.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Firstly, it’s important to understand the significance of Ash Wednesday in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving that prepares us for the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ashes are applied to the foreheads of the faithful as a sign of repentance and a reminder of human mortality.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains that Lent is a liturgical season of penance, and during this time the Church “unites herself to the mystery of Jesus in the desert” (CCC 540). It’s a time to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel, as indicated by the words used during the imposition of ashes: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

The Meaning of the Ashes

The ashes themselves are a symbol of penance and conversion, and they remind us that we are dust and to dust, we shall return. The Catechism also reminds us that interior repentance is a “radical reorientation of our whole life” and involves turning away from evil and returning to God (CCC 1431).

During the Ash Wednesday service, the priest places ashes on the foreheads of the congregation while saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19) or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). This act is a humbling experience, an external expression of an internal commitment to repentance and change.

The Influence of Social Media on Faith Expression

In today’s digital era, our lives, including our religious practices, are often showcased on social media. This leads to a myriad of questions about the appropriateness of such public displays of faith. Social media has the power to inspire and evangelize, but it also runs the risk of reducing faith to mere aesthetics or ‘likes.’

To Share or Not to Share?

There’s no definitive teaching from the Church on whether or not you should share pictures of your ashes on social media. However, the Bible and the Catechism provide guiding principles that can help us make a prudent decision.

Intention Matters

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warns against practicing righteousness in order to be seen: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

While the Church doesn’t explicitly say it’s wrong to share images of your ashes, the reason behind your action matters. If the primary motive is vanity or self-promotion, then perhaps reconsider sharing.

The Potential for Evangelization

On the other side of the coin, sharing your ashes on social media could be an opportunity for evangelization. The Catechism states that the Church is called to a “new evangelization,” one that is “new in its ardor, methods, and expression” (CCC 830). Could sharing ashes pictures be a modern method of evangelization? Perhaps. It could serve as a reminder to others of the significance of the Lenten season and encourage them to reflect on their own spiritual journey.

A Personal Decision Guided by Discernment

At the end of the day, whether or not to share pictures of your ashes is a personal decision, one that should be made with careful discernment. The Church encourages us to examine our motives, be wary of turning faith into a spectacle, and consider the potential for genuine evangelization.

The key takeaway should be that Ash Wednesday and Lent are sacred times for spiritual growth and renewal. Whether you choose to share this journey publicly or keep it between you and God, what truly matters is the sincere repentance and conversion of your heart.

To sum it up, sharing pictures of your Ash Wednesday ashes is not inherently wrong. However, it’s essential to be mindful of your intentions and the potential consequences of such an action. In light of this, consult the teachings of the Church, the wisdom of Scripture, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you make your decision.


Social media is a complex landscape, and the question of whether to share images of your Ash Wednesday ashes doesn’t have a simple yes-or-no answer. However, the Church provides us with the principles needed for discernment.

While the act of sharing pictures of your ashes is not universally addressed in the teachings of the Church, it’s crucial to approach it with the right intention and an understanding of the sacredness of the season. With that in mind, let us all embark on a fruitful Lenten journey, whether it’s chronicled online or observed in the quiet of our hearts.

🙏 Your PayPal Donation Appreciated

Select a Donation Option (USD)

Enter Donation Amount (USD)


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.

Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Scroll to Top