Ash Wednesday, March 6th
Many communities of faith will have worship services wherein there will be the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of people in the sign of the Cross. It is an ancient rite with ashes being a sign of penitence and a reminder that we are formed of the dust of the earth. Ashes also prompt us to the creative power of God, calling us into being and into relationship with God and each other. Sadly, those relationships can be broken. The work of the season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is the healing of the brokenness in our lives and mending our relationships with God and each other. Along with the scheduled liturgies of Ash Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 12 noon, and 5:30 pm, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will also offer “Ashes to Go.”
For many years now, St. Paul’s has offered “Ashes to Go,” taking ashes and a moment of prayer to the street corner of Eaton and Duval Streets— a place beyond the walls of the sanctuary. Many responded with tears and smiles of gratitude that the church would be available to them.
As one clergyperson in St. Louis said about their “Ashes to Go,” “We take ashes to the street corner because that reminder of need, humility, and healing shouldn’t be confined to a church building. We probably need it more when we are in the middle of our daily business! The ashes we receive are to remind us throughout the day of our need for God, and of God’s call to us.”
To be sure, there is much more to the beginning of Lent than ashes alone. It is a call for self-examination, repentance, amendment of life, and renewal, which all of us need to do from time to time in our lives. Lent can be this time for you now. The encouragement of the Church is to make time for worship with a community of faith. We hope “Ashes to Go” will bring the gifts of prayer and a moment of grace reassuring you of God’s holy love for all people. Indeed, Key West lives with the motto “One Human Family.” This is most surely recognized with starting the season of Lent, being reminded of our own mortality but loved eternally by God—a love that is for the one whole human family all created in the image and likeness of the innermost characteristic of God, which is love.