Ash Wednesday: Ancient tradition still thrives in modern times

"Virtually every parish that I've worked with will have more people come to Ash Wednesday than nearly any other celebration", said Thomas Humphries, assistant professor of philosophy, theology and religion at St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida.

David's United Church of Christ in Kettering is offering "Ashes To Go" for the sixth year.

'It's about meeting people where they are, ' Fr Paddy explained, adding that this was also the reasoning behind the Lenten Petition box idea. This year, the church also placed an order for ashes mixed with purple glitter from Parity. "As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways".

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Some local religious leaders however, don't agree with the glitter addition.

It marks the start of a 40-day period which is an allusion to the separation of Jesus in the desert to fast and pray. "Having someone put ashes on your head and remind you "we are dust and to dust we shall return" is an act of humility".

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

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"From one point of view, a person - no matter what their secual orientation might be - they are human being and deserving of respect", he stated.

"What I heard was people were just feeling that. the ashes represent our mortality and our journey to the cross, that this is a mark of Christ's death and resurrection and it should be all about God and Christ, and they were afraid that it would take away from that a little bit", Kinsey said. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives.

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