March 23, 2018

Ashes to Go offers ministry without a church building

14 February 2018, 06:38 | Clyde Nash

A carnival paarde even took place in the Petržalka borough of Bratislava February 12

A carnival paarde even took place in the Petržalka borough of Bratislava February 12

River City Seafood and Grill owner Charlie Coleman said Ash Wednesday always brings in the diners, and with Valentine's Day falling on the same day, Wednesday will be even sweeter.

Beginning at 7 p.m., Deacon John Hunt will be at the church to distribute ashes to anyone who could not attend during the day.

Ash Wednesday is observed by many Western Christian religions, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, but it is especially significant for Roman Catholics, who see it as a day of fasting and prayer. It gives parishes the opportunity to outreach to possible new members as they go about their hectic day, which includes people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

It's the first time since 1945 the symbolic Christian event has fallen on the same date as Valentine's Day.

"We're very much into the senses - all five senses are involved in our services", he said.

The secular and the sacred are colliding tomorrow as Christians observe Ash Wednesday which falls on the same day as the day for love - Valentine's Day. Fasting and prayer is an important aspect of Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season. They are supposed to fast, pray and shun meat these days. But Brown said fasting in the Catholic Church doesn't necessarily mean avoiding food altogether, but rather eating lighter and simpler fare.

"Valentine's Day is all about love, and the beginning of Lent also is about God expressing his sacrificial love for us", May said.

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As priests place ashes on worshipers' foreheads at Mass, Brown said, they say: "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

For some, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting - which doesn't really jive with the lavish dinner dates and chocolates associated with Valentine's Day.

On Ash Wednesday, special Masses will be held across the country.

This year's Lenten season ends on April 1st-Easter Sunday. Sundays are holy celebrations of Jesus' resurrection, and are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent.

While the church will also have have an Ash Wednesday service, Peich said the point of Ash and Dash is not to get away from tradition, but rather to make it more accessible to people that want to participate.

Today, Deacon plans to enjoy a fish fry at home with her fiancée, Jess Schneider, who grew up Catholic.

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