Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent for Western Catholics, or to be correct those who observe it. This morning before work I went for ashes at St. Peter’s Church. Even at that time there were rows of people waiting to receive their ashes. So I’m standing there watching people walk by with a faint ash cross on their forehead. Then it’s my turn. I kneel thinking about how I’m supposed to respond then finally say 'Amen' and move out of the way to wait for my friend. We head to work and I explain to her that every year the cross on my forehead is thick and dark, and she said like it is now. I get to work, look in the washroom mirror and realize the priests want everyone to know I’m repenting. I mean REALLY want everyone to know I’m repenting. They grind their thumb into the ashes when they see me coming and pretty much burn it on my forehead. Maybe one of these days they won’t think I have so much sin hovering over me.

We stand in rows

Waiting for ashes

As anxiety grows

Start getting flashes

Of past years’ Lents

Wonder what to say

Still time for repents

Dark Cross on display

A smell of incense

While I kneel and pray


  1. Oh gosh, now I'll be judging people's souls by how dark the ash on their forehead ;)

    My kids went to Catholic School when they were younger and went for ashes with the class, filing through the parking lot to the church for services. They said tonight they miss those old grammar school days, the routine and tradition of it.

  2. LOL!

    It's nice to hear children do miss traditions from childhood memories, and I'm sure new traditions and memories will stay with them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice poem.

    Yesterday at my local church the priest said that the most telephone calls he received asked what time the ashes would be given out instead of what time is the service. He said he responded that he doesn’t provide a drive-through to receive ashes and it would be best to attend the service. I like some humor in the church.

  4. A drive-through ashes. Now that's a good way for the churches to make money along with a drive-through communion. Too funny. Thanks for sharing, Veejay.