Ashes to go for Ash Wednesday

"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", said Rev. Brandon Gilvin of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which offered ashes to passers-by on Ash Wednesday in 2016. The "Glitter Ash Wednesday" initiative was created by the NY faith-based organization "Parity".

Ash Wednesday's weather calls for likely rain before 1 p.m., and then snow showers, with a high in the lower 40s and gusty north-northwest winds, according to the National Weather Service's forecast for Grand Haven.

"We looked at the situation on the ground.People and families are on the move all the time", Fr Mooney told the paper.

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But some religious leaders think Ash Wednesday should remain glitter-free. In the Episcopal tradition, ashes are used to mark the foreheads of the faithful with the sign of the cross, with the words "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

The priest said the use of ashes goes back to Old Testament times when sackcloth and ashes were worn as signs of penance.

"If you start changing its meaning, some are going to feel this is a political statement", Senior said.

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Traditionally, Christians observe Ash Wednesday by fasting and not eating meat.

But Senior acknowledged that the intent of those choosing glitter ashes isn't inappropriate. "So in one sense, recognizing that on this day to me is not offensive".

What is that black mark on the forehead of some people? We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives.

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