What an Ash Wednesday service we had: the Litany AND the imposition of ashes AND the sacrament of Holy Communion. The grandkids thought it was cool to have ashes put on their heads, but it was hard to see them with the mark of death upon them, but that’s the way it is. I think Pastor Cwirla’s objection to the imposition of ashes that I blogged about yesterday–that a pastor is to convey forgiveness, not another reminder of sin and death–is answered when the service includes the sacrament, so that the pastor is giving both the law followed by the gospel.
But I want to share with you another take on the imposition of ashes. Sandra Ostapowich, in a movingly honest and well-written post, writes about her struggles to apply Lenten disciplines, to conquer her sins, and even to repent of them. But then the imposition of ashes reminds her of how God does everything for her salvation, including giving her the gift of repentance. [Read more…]