Abraham said, in Genesis 18,” Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.” Faithful people have always used the symbols of ashes and dust as signs of the penitential approach to God. The Christian church has included ashes in their practice, as noted by Tertullian in the mid-second century. Currently, many people live into that ancient tradition in the Liturgies of Ashes that begin the season of Lent. Hence, the first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday.
The custom of marking the foreheads of worshipers with a cross of ashes is shared among many denominations, often with solemn liturgies and reading Psalm 51; occasionally with almost no liturgy at all, apart from the pronouncement from the Psalm. ” Remember that you are but dust, and to dust you shall return.” Participants come from a broad variety of Christian traditions, or from no tradition at all. One of the qualities of the Imposition of Ashes services is that they are open to all who feel drawn to participate.
Here in Winn Parish, ashes will be offered in several churches to anyone who is moved to participate:
First United Methodist Church, 300 W. Main St., Winnfield, dinner at 5 PM, worship at 5:45 PM
Couley United Methodist Church, 14245 Hwy 84 West, Couley, LA 4:00 PM
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 772 Country Club Rd., Winnfield, 5:30 PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pecan and North Division streets, 5 PM
The Rev. Kevin Smith, First United Methodist Church, Couley UMC, Sanders Chapel UMC 318-628-4181 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Brian Seiler, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, St William Chapel 318-628-2561
The Rev. Frank Fuller, St Paul’s Episcopal Church