Ash Wednesday 2022

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar, a forty-day period of fasting (doing without something) and repentance (resolving to live our lives more fully in love toward God and one another) in anticipation of the Festival of the Resurrection of Jesus – Easter.

The day gets its name from an ancient Christian tradition of burning palm branches to ash and using that ash that they produce (there are no other additives) to smudge the sign of Christ’s cross on our foreheads while hearing the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 

This is both a profound reminder of our own mortality as well as the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection as the ultimate source of hope for Christians. 

The sign of the cross on one’s forehead is also a reminder of Christian baptism, when Christian’s believe that they receive the empowering presence of God’s Spirit for their lives of faith together. 

Christians believe that baptism comes with a calling – a vocation – to lead a life of love and service. The season of Lent is an opportunity to meditate and act on this calling.

All are welcome to receive the mark of the cross on their foreheads. Some will leave the mark on all day, others will choose to wash it off after some time. 

Ashes will be offered on Ash Wednesday, March 2, at the Chapel at 10 a.m. at Morning Prayer and at 10 p.m. at Celebrate! 

Pastors Kate and Jim will also be offering ashes in the Union between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. that same day.

May this Lenten season be a blessing to you.