Ashes To Go
"The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting." This statement comes right from our Book of Common Prayer.
Unfortunately, times have changed. Many people have fallen out of the habit of penitence and fasting, just as we don't attend the many wonderful and varied services offered during Holy Week (Stations of the Cross, Tenebrae, Foot Washing, Good Friday etc.). All are meant for us to share the life of Jesus and his final days leading to his death on the cross for our salvation. All of the events of Lent and Holy Week are to help us walk with Jesus, to remember and meditate on his life.
Ashes on Ash Wednesday are to remind us that our Creator God created each of us from the same dust. We are from dust and to dust we shall return. The ashes symbolize our mortality and penitence.
Why Ashes to Go? Ashes To Go is an outreach of a number of Episcopal churches in this diocese and also in other parts of the country. It offers a connection for those who no longer go to church due to anger or disappointment, work schedules don't mesh with church schedules etc. But, there is still a memory or feelings of some kind of spiritual connection. A human need for penitence. Penitence means asking forgiveness and a wish to turn ones life around. It also serves as a reminder that God is always with each person regardless of whether they attend church or not. People will be invited to drive into our parking lot at the doors of the church to receive the ashes. A short prayer is said with them, the sign of the cross marked on their foreheads and these words are shared, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Deacon Cathy