Ash Wednesday is big in the Episcopal Church, which is a small “c” catholic church. Personally, I enjoy the service partly because it’s mid week and is a big change from the Sunday morning routine. The service really changed for me in the last several years.
I don’t remember Ash Wednesday in 2016 or 2018. This was a pretty tough year; wiping tears away during the service. On Sundays I pack a handkerchief. 2017 was a different year and rather than recount, here is text copied from Caringbridge:
Tuesday & Wednesday = Days +26 +27 = Fat Tuesday & Ash Wednesday
Journal entry by Ted Poppke — Mar 1, 2017
Connie is starting her third calendar month in Rochester; Connie & Conner drove from Bismarck to Rochester on January 1st and today is March 1st.
Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, the last day of Mardi Gras. Since we once lived in Mobile, AL, the city with the longest continuous Mardi Gras celebration in the US, Connie wore an appropriate colored shirt and we had pancakes for supper. We also had a visit from the puppies – here is a pic showing the purple/gold/green of Mardi Gras and the pups.
Today was Ash Wednesday. Connie was able to wear new socks (arrived in a package from Chanhassen!) and shoes since her leg swelling is reduced. We made it to the noon service at Calvary Episcopal, which is right across the street from the main entrance from Mayo, giving Connie her first outside winter weather in weeks.
The pic at the start of the post is Connie after we got back inside the Mayo complex. You go outside for a half block to get from Mayo to the church.
Ash Wednesday, Book of Common Prayer, p. 265
If ashes are to be imposed, the Celebrant says the following prayer
Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the
earth: Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our
mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is
only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
The ashes are imposed with the following words
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.