Today is Lauren Winner’s first Ash Wednesday as an Episcopal priest, and she’ll be standing on a public street corner, imposing ashes on willing passersby. More interesting, however, than the fact that she’s doing this, is why she’s doing it.
This year, I will be joining many Episcopal priests in taking the public witness of Ash Wednesday one step further. On Wednesday, my colleague Catherine Caimano and I will put on cassocks and surplices, and go to a corner near Duke University Hospital with small containers of ashes and copies of a litany of repentance from the Book of Common Prayer. We will offer “the imposition of ashes” to people in the street.