Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday rites will be taken to the streets and railway stations

From ENS Chicago-

Ash Wednesday services will not be confined to church interiors in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago this week. More than two dozen congregations, stretching from Chicago to Dixon, will be taking the Ash Wednesday rite of imposition of ashes to the streets, coffee houses and transit stations of their communities on Ash Wednesday, March 9.

The diocesan-wide initiative, known as Ashes to Go, was conceived by the Rev. Emily Mellot, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard in response to church members regrets about not being able to attend Ash Wednesday services at the church. Few had shown up at her daybreak Ash Wednesday service or the others at noon and early evening, citing work or other commitments. It struck her that the church ought to be taking the Ash Wednesday rite to where the people were at 7 a.m., the commuter rail stations. So last year she floated the idea before her parish's vestry, thinking it would be a project for another year. But the vestry was so taken with the notion "that we were at the Metra station with ashes, poster, handouts and volunteers nine days later."

Other Episcopal churches in Glen Ellyn and Palos Park followed suit, some partnering with local Lutheran churches to offer ash imposition and to hand out flyers on Lenten programs.

More here-

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