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Church Offers 'Ashes to Go' at Virginia Square Metro

Today: St. George's Episcopal Church will offer ashes, devotional books to all who wish to receive them.

In honor of Ash Wednesday, St. George's Episcopal Church is bringing "Ashes to Go" to the Virginia Square Metro station for morning and evening commuters.

The church, which is about a block away, will have a presence at the Metro plaza at about 8:15 a.m., just after its morning service, and about 5 p.m., in advance of its evening service.

Ashes will be offered to all who wish to receive them, according to a news release. Lenten devotional books also will be handed out to anyone who would like one.

It's the first time the church has tried this, said the Rev. Sharon Sykes Williams, rector of St. George's Episcopal. The practice began in the Chicago area.

Williams said to her knowledge, St. George's is the first church in the area to try this.

"When I saw this, I thought, 'What a great idea.' Rather than waiting for people to come to us, we go to them… just to help people see that church can be relevant in their lives," Williams said.

"The ashes remind us of our mortality and our need for God."

Lent, the 40 days of preparation for Easter, begins today.

"We put the ashes on people's forehead and say, 'Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,' because in one of the biblical accounts of creation it talks about God breathing life into the dirt to create human beings," Williams said. "So, it's an allusion to that."

Tom Scherer February 12, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Episcopal and Catholic are not the same. Get facts straight. I am deeply offended and must file a human rights complaint.
Carol Lewis February 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Tom, no where does the article say that Episcopal and Catholic are the same. Other churches practice this rite on Ash Wednesday. According to the Rite of the Episcopal Church, USA, this is what is said and done: Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth: Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. The ashes are imposed with the following words: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Kim February 13, 2013 at 12:30 AM
I am curious - why are you deeply offended by this?

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