Photo: The cross and communion table in the Stewart Chapel on the Missouri Valley College campus. (Photo by Will Lee)
Story by Will Lee
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a 40-day, 40-nights fast to give up something that people will miss to make room for God.
Ash Wednesday is known as the most honest day of the year, following Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday.) Shrove Tuesday is a day where people feast and drink in great amount to get rid of all the old and make room for the new.
The ashes that people wear on their forehead are to remind followers that “all come from dust, and to dust all return.” (Ecclesiates 3:20.) The ashes come from the previous year’s palms from Palms Sunday.
Students of various denominations participated in Ash Wednesday services on campus by visiting the MVC Stewart Chapel today with the observances conducted by Father Kevin Gormley and the Rev. Pam Sebastian.
Ash Wednesday is a day of reflection, about what people give up that will make room for God for these next 40 days, that might just become a habit and carry on.
Senior Kathrine Flores of Mass Communication isn’t giving anything physical up, instead she’s working on becoming a better person. “Last year I gave up alcohol, but this year I wanted to do something different. I’m working on my feelings and relationships,” she said.
Ash Wednesday isn’t just about giving up one thing, but to gain something like Kathrine intends to, in becoming closer to God.
For those who missed the services on campus, there will be a 7 p.m. service at the St. Peter Catholic Church tonight.
What will you gain from this year’s Lent?
…If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31