“Ashes to Go” Breaks the Confines of Denomination Bringing the Meaning of Lent to Everyone


By Natalie Covher

Reverend Suzanne Wolfenbarger offered ashes on the street Wednesday, February 10th in front of Trinity Episcopal Church.

“I think it is a way of bringing the inside of the Church to the outside,” said Wolfenbarger.

This is the first time she has done this type of event. She offered the ashes to those who came to receive them and passers by. You did not need to be of a certain faith or of the faith to receive the ashes. The ashes are a reminder of need, humility and healing. As she marks a cross on the heads of the recipients she says “Remember that you are dust, and dust you shall return.”

Unlike other places in the United States, feasting doesn’t end with Christmas. It extends through Mardi Gras. Now is truly the time for our culture to cut back. You do not have to be a part of a religion to participate in Mardi Gras and the same goes for the Season of Lent. When in Rome, right?

Speaking of Rome, Pope Francis has recommended that one give up something other than fried food and alcohol for Lent requesting we fast from indifference towards each other. Describing this phenomenon he calls the globalization of indifference, the Pope writes, that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” He continues that, “We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”

Rev. Wolfenbarger reminds us that we do not have to give something up. We could also take something on like committing ourselves to writing a letter a day or to commit a random act of kindness a day.

In looking past the differences between denominations or the lack of one we could all benefit from the practice of Lent.