‘Ashes to Go’ to bring Ash Wednesday observance to the streets

Press Release

All Souls Catherdral

A Fat Tuesday/ Mardi Gras celebration might be easy to find on the streets of Asheville, but what about finding ashes on Ash Wednesday? This Ash Wednesday, March 5th, members of the Episcopal Church of Western North Carolina will be offering “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, in downtown Asheville, West Asheville on Haywood Rd and the campus of UNCA @ Highsmith Student Union at both 9:00am and 2:00 pm.

The Episcopal Church is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting busy corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to seek forgiveness and transformation and to pray for justice and community renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder that we fall short of the deepest desire for God’s Holy Kingdom where peace and justice reign. It is also an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness and to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

“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,” says the Rev. Emily Mellott, who maintains the website AshesToGo.org with resources and stories about this ministry.

“As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our daily lives. The people who accept ashes on the street are often people longing to make a connection between their faith and the social forces around them, and Ashes to Go helps them feel that connection.”

Please contact The Rev. Scott White at Scott@trinityasheville.org or The Rev. Canon Milly Morrow at Milly@allsoulscathedral.org for more information about the local event. More information about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at www.AshesToGo.org.


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