Churches take Ash Wednesday to the Streets

On Ash Wednesday, February 26th, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland and Nativity Lutheran Church in Rockport will be offering “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, on Main Street and in various locations throughout Rockland between 8:30-10:00am and again from 3:00-4:30pm. This is the third year the two church have sent clergy and lay ministers for the beginning of Lent.

St. Peter’s is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting street corners, coffee shops, transit stops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the forehead at the beginning of that season as a reminder that God has created us out of the dust of the earth. The ashes are a sign of our mortality and an invitation to turn toward God to receive God’s forgiveness and life-giving grace. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church or have never participated before.

“Ashes to Go is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day,” says the Rev. Lael Sorensen, the rector at St. Peter’s. “As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives. The people who accept ashes on the street are often people longing to make a connection between their relationship with the transcendent and the forces of daily existence, and Ashes to Go helps them feel that connection.”

Contact the Rev. Lael Sorensen, rector.stpetersrockland@gmail.com, 207-594-8191 for more information about Ashes to Go and for information about church services for Ash Wednesday (7 am and 5:30 pm, Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes), Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm every Friday during Lent, and other offerings & services during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. More about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at www.AshesToGo.org .

 

 

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