Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

while working in the office today, I have fielded many phone calls wondering, well, I know what they mean is "when is Mass today."

how they word it though, is fascinating...
"When can we get ashes today?"
"Are you offering a service with ashes tonight?"
(I wish I could remember more specifics)

(not a single: "what time is Mass today?")

I was even sitting in the church, praying, this afternoon and someone wandered in... wondering something about "where's the ashes we can put on ourselves?"

It was probably a good thing I couldn't think fast enough to give him an explanation of how horribly theologically incorrect that question was. (I just shrugged and told him he "had to" come to Mass at 7 to "get ashes.")

I've heard or read it said somewhere, that aside from Christmas and Easter, the other favorite times for Catholics to come to Mass is Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday...because they "get something."

(also, of course, the reason that so many people in poorly-catechized churches leave right after receiving Communion...because, well, they've "gotten" something, so therefore they must have fulfilled their obligation!)


Anonymous said...

In Point Richmond, Mass was at 9 a.m., but ashes were applied at a separate service at 7:30 p.m.

Mara Joy said...

ummm...that's just weird.

TopTech said...

In the Detroit area, where I work, I Looked for a Mass to attend, during my lunch hour, which is very flexible. I couldn't find any, but was told there was a service for the distribution of ashes at Noon at one of the closer Churches (there are about 6 within a 10 mile radius of my office). The service amounted to an opening prayer by a Permanent Deacon, who left the ashes on a small table at the end of the main aisle. Then he left and everyone applied the ashes to their own foreheads. I understand that they are left out like that until an evening Mass at like 7pm.

Now, I just come back to my own parish in Ann Arbor, if I can't make it there for the earliest Mass.

Mara Joy said...

well, I guess these priests must be just too busy to say an extra Mass on the day of the THIRD most well-attended Mass out of the whole year!
(after Christmas and Easter, and yes, I just made that statistic up. but it seems about right!)