Ash Wednesday, 2008
If I recall correctly, last Ash Wednesday the noon Cathedral mass was packed. This year, the church was maybe 3/4 full.
After mass we began our Lenten fast and vigil for an end to the Iraq War. We started out by holding a banner near the Cathedral door, but were asked to move across the street. This was unfortunate, in that it probably left some passersby with the impression that we were protesting the church or something.
All of the response I saw from churchgoers or people driving by was positive. Meanwhile, people handed out Jagerstatter holy cards to those leaving mass.
Then we went over to the Federal Building, where they didn’t care where we stood, so long as we weren’t blocking a door. I don’t have any good face-free pix of this part, so here you see Scott and Ken posing with the banner.
Nice omnibus Ash Wednesday post from Rocco Palmo. This bit sums up the point of the vigil, for me:
The crux of Ash Wednesday is one that fascinates, and rightfully so: in a world — and, indeed, in a church — too often obsessed with appearances, with shirking blame and maintaining an image of perfection (sometimes at any cost), all that gets turned inside out: I’m far from perfect. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t go it alone. What I do matters beyond myself.