ash wednesday

The church of my childhood paid no attention to Lent. The season's words sounded too mystical to us, too strange and too Catholic.
February 18, 2013

A comment on my recent rush-hour-communion post mentioned the Episcopal Church's recent practice of Ashes to Go, a form of "liturgical evangelism" that has brought congregations out into streets, bus stations, train stations and subway stations to dispense ashes on Ash Wednesday. When I started to read about Ashes to Go, I had many of the same questions that I brought to early-morning communion. At first I thought, ashes to go? Whatever happened to liturgy and community? Aren't we just feeding into our culture's unwillingness to stop for anything at anytime? Can ashes really be offered like a fast food item at a take out window? But once again, in the midst of these restless and protesting thoughts, another reality has stepped in.
February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence marking the beginning of Lent, a journey of 40 days to Good Friday and Easter. It's a time of recalling our mortality (“ashes to ashes”), repenting of wrongs, and preparing for death and resurrection, both of Christ and of ourselves.
February 22, 2003