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Ash Wednesday is traditionally (!) a hard day to attend H. Mass. How will you attend? I will try to attend the evening Mass myself. I remember that, in grammar school, one kid got permission to attend the morning mass this day and came to school with a cross on his forehead. Of course, I have caught myself thinking how to quickly rub off my cross in ash before leaving church as not to give the people in the streets the impression a maniac is amongst them. Silly, of course, and that in a Catholic (?) country as Belgium.
Don't rub it off!  The idea is to leave it, to show the world the cross.
I go to mass before work.  It is funny how many people don't know what it is.  They think I have dirt on my face.  When I was growing up in the fifties and sixties, even if your weren't Catholic people know it was Ash Wednesday.  I will display the ashes all day long.
Daniel
I'll probably be at evening Mass, as there is no way I would make the Mass at 11:15, since I have classes in a solid block starting at ten and ending at 2:30 -- just not gonna work. sad

I remember, in grade school, seeing whose cross lasted longest. I'd sleep in mine (and wake up with a bit of smear on my forehead, but the cross never survived, haha)...
In my case the only TLM is at 6:15 in the evening, so I'll go there.  But I'll wear my ashes on the train home.
Quote: Of course, I have caught myself thinking how to quickly rub off my cross in ash before leaving church as not to give the people in the streets the impression a maniac is amongst them. Silly, of course, and that in a Catholic (?) country as Belgium.

In the U.S. and especially in the big cities, everybody loves Ash Wednesday. Even fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics love Ash Wednesday. Some people come to church only on this day just to get their ashes. 
 
I think it means there's still hope; still something inside them that connects them to the past and the acceptance that we all return to dust. The ashes are a visible reminder of our mortality, and an invitation to make straight the crooked paths, to start over again. Ash Wednesday is the day that many prodigals come home, and others consider converting.

 
As long as I've been alive, nobody has laughed at me for having ashes on my forehead.. Fellow Catholics see each other on the street, the cross smudged on their foreheads, and they shoot each other a knowing smile.. Non-Catholics recognize you as a Catholic, and they smile.. All restaurants and fast food chains offer a "Lenten Special" whether the owners are Catholic or not.

Everybody gets into the spirit, they ask you what you're "giving up."
Everybody loves Lent..  Smile
 
- Lisa

For some reason, Ash Wednesday around here is like a Holy Day of Obligation. Churches are basically packed. Maybe it's their atonement for the previous day's bacchanal.

Mardi Gras in Louisiana:

1) [Image: jestera.gif]

2) [Image: beer.gif][Image: beer.gif][Image: wine.gif][Image: margarita.gif]

3) [Image: puke.gif]



Archangelum Wrote:Ash Wednesday is traditionally (!) a hard day to attend H. Mass. How will you attend? I will try to attend the evening Mass myself. I remember that, in grammar school, one kid got permission to attend the morning mass this day and came to school with a cross on his forehead. Of course, I have caught myself thinking how to quickly rub off my cross in ash before leaving church as not to give the people in the streets the impression a maniac is amongst them. Silly, of course, and that in a Catholic (?) country as Belgium.

There's a 7:00 p.m. Mass at my parish, so I should have plenty of time to make it there after work, especially since I'll be skipping dinner.  I'll only be wearing my ashes home. 

You're quite right to question whether Belgium is a Catholic country.  Historically, of course, it is a Catholic country--a stalwart Catholic country in fact.  So its ongoing de-Christianization just sickens and saddens me all the more.   

My mom is half Belgian (Walloon).  She and my dad met and married in Belgium.  But my Belgian uncles, aunts and cousins have completely abandoned the faith.  They don't marry in the Church.  They don't baptize their children.  They certainly don't attend Mass. 

They were flabbergasted when I told them I married in the Church, baptized my daughter and regularly attend Mass.  By their reaction, you'd think I told them I believe in Santa Claus. 

"Europe is the faith, and the faith is Europe," said Belloc.  He must be turning in his grave.         
On Ash Wednesday I will be serving a 8:00am TLM at our Cathedral.
Archangelum Wrote:Ash Wednesday is traditionally (!) a hard day to attend H. Mass. How will you attend? I will try to attend the evening Mass myself. I remember that, in grammar school, one kid got permission to attend the morning mass this day and came to school with a cross on his forehead. Of course, I have caught myself thinking how to quickly rub off my cross in ash before leaving church as not to give the people in the streets the impression a maniac is amongst them. Silly, of course, and that in a Catholic (?) country as Belgium.

Our priest uses ashes mixed with some kind of grease and makes really big crosses on everyone's forehead.  You look like you have magic marker on your forehead.  There is no way you can rub it off, you have to wash it off.  I miss the plain ashes.  I guess the greasy ashes are extra penance, though. [Image: laff.gif]


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