This year, it feels like we can do the imposition of ashes in some safe form!
Michael will prepare ashes the day prior (before he heads out to Julie’s Donut Day). He will also prepare a short Ash Wednesday liturgy like he has used at “Ashes to Go” on the streets – a short reading and prayer plus the words for imposition. He will be at church from 10 am until 8 pm on Ash Wednesday, and ready to come outside, masked, whenever anyone comes by for ashes. It will be fairly brief, just a few minutes for the service, but then there’s the opportunity to visit with people for a time too.
At 6 pm, there will be – again outdoors and masked – in front of the church a brief Ash Wednesday service for whatever group shows up (essentially, the liturgy talked about above plus a second reading and room for people’s prayers).
At 7 pm, we will gather at our usual place online for Ash Wednesday service. (It will be one of our evening services on zoom where we ask people at home to dim the lights in the room where they are.)
If you want to make ashes, any dead, dried plant from your winter garden (or even a potted plant too long unattended indoors) will work for burning, and then a drop or two of olive oil…
But in the service, Michael will be making ashes as part of the liturgy, and then will have those at home simply make the sign of the cross on their foreheads as our ritual imposition.