Marlborough – March 6 is Ash Wednesday, a day Christians throughout the world will go to church, to mark the start of the season of Lent, the 46 days before Easter, which is often a time for penitence and reflection. The day is named for the practice of imposing ashes, a tradition that many Christians have found to be a very meaningful part of the Ash Wednesday liturgy.
If, however, you can’t make it to church on Ash Wednesday, the ashes can come to you! Saint Stephen Lutheran Church offers this creative alternative. Pastor Joseph Graumann and assisting minister Ann Gibson will be available in Marlborough near the corner of Main and Florence, from 12-1 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, and will impose ashes and offer a blessing to anyone who asks for them.
“We hope ‘ashes to go’ helps anybody who wishes to remember their mortality and invites people to follow Jesus,” said Pastor Graumann. He believes bringing this symbol to the people makes an aspect of church more accessible to more individuals. Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice, often mentioned in the Bible. Ashes suggest cleansing and renewal. They were used in ancient times in the absence of soap.
For those who can attend, or just prefer a service, Saint Stephen also will offer traditional Ash Wednesday worship at 7 p.m. on March 6 at the church at 537 Bolton St., Marlborough.
For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) . The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.