Posted by andrew on March 1, 2016
On Ash Wednesday, I was visiting a patient in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. As I made my way to the patient’s room, I encountered numerous people who had ashes on their forehead in the form of a cross. I passed by the hospital chapel and saw a chaplain anointing people as they waited in line.
Historically, events on the traditional church calendar such as Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent were not observed by the Anabaptist and the members of the Church of the Brethren. However, in recent years, many Brethren churches observe events like Advent and Lent and Pentecost in their own way. We may not observe them with the same ritual and regularity of the Catholic Church or the higher Protestant churches, but we choose to observe some of them with a Brethren twist.
As I walked through the hospital that day, it was refreshing to pass people in the hallway with the mark of ashes on their foreheads. It was a sign of faith for them and a sign of hope for me that faith is alive and well in the world in which we live.
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