Street Ash

March 05, 2014

On this "Ash Wednesday," which marks the start of the season of Lent (a time of reflection and penance climaxing with Easter), many ministers across the nation left cozy sanctuaries to take worship to the streets. As I have noted in the past, the "Ashes to Go" effort involves ministers in numerous states and multiple denominations heading to public spaces to offer ashes for those who might not otherwise attend an Ash Wednesday service in church. Numerous news outlets already covered this year's effort. The Sacramento Bee called the effort a move to bring an "ancient Ash Wednesday ritual to Sacramento streets." Enacting this ritual on the streets transforms the concrete paths into holy ground. The effort also garnered news coverage today from ABC 10 in San Diego, Arlington Heights Daily-HeraldFox 8 in Cleveland, .Philadelphia Inquirer, Springfield News-Leader, Tulsa WorldWaynesboro Herald-Mail, and many other news outlets. These efforts (and similar efforts during Advent) to bring sacred moments out of churches and into the streets are fascinating reminders that God is not confined to the walls of the churches.