Beliefs News

Photo Gallery: Christians receive ashes in a variety of ways

Jacqui Hunter of Silver Spring, Md., stopped at the parking lot of Glenmont United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Md., to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday on March 1, 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

(RNS) Many Christians found a way to observe Ash Wednesday (March 1) in spite of busy schedules. Some churches accommodate parishioners’ hectic schedules by distributing ashes in ways other than at traditional services. RNS found people seeking ashes in church, in parking lots and in coffee shops. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the period of penance and fasting preceding Easter.

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Kit Doyle


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  • Many Christians do not celebrate Ash Wednesday. Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Yes. Palm Sunday is rooted in commemorating the entrance into Jerusalem of Jesus in the final week of His earthly life; Good Friday, His suffering and death; Easter His miraculous Resurrection. But while Ash Wednesday seeks to remind us to repent, it is not based on any historical event recounted in the Gospels, unlike the other days cited, and thus has little reference to those who do not practice a liturgical style of Christian commemoration or celebration.

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