Church takes Ash Wednesday to the streets

March 5, 2019

On Wednesday morning — that’s Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar — ministers from several Rochester churches will be offering “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition.

It will be from 7 to 8 a.m. near the bus stops on Second Street at First Avenue Southwest downtown. This is the fifth year ministers in Rochester will offer Ashes to Go, part of a new, nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, 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.

“God meets us where we are,” says Rev. Karna Hagen Moskalik of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

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 face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who may have lost their connection to a faith community or have never participated before.

For more information, see the website www.AshesToGo.org.