ST. LOUIS – Ash Wednesday may look different this year, but the St. Peters Episcopal Church is taking precautions for church-goers to remain safe and participate in the first day of Lent.
St. Peters Episcopal Church Decon Shug Goodlow applied ashes to the forehead using cotton swaps to make the sign of the cross instead of using her hands, the church also provided ashes to go.
Revered Carlson says ashes are a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts.
“This is the first year we have provided ashes to go”, said Reverend Carlson Sr. Associate Rector at St. Peters Episcopal Church. “People are invited to stop by the church to receive the imposition of ashes and stay for prayer”.
Revered Carlson explained that those who choose to stay for silent prayer can do so safely while being socially distant. Each pew is marked 6 feet apart with blue tape.
Following Ash Wednesday, those who practice will begin lent for 40 days. This year, the church is encouraging parishioners to reflect on 40 different words each night.
“We want you to intentionally reflect on a different word each day of Lent, what does it mean to you, how does it make you feel. Today is the first day and our word for today is hope”, said Reverend Carlson.
As with almost everything else in the past year, COVID-19 has changed how believers worship. St. Peters Episcopal Church will celebrate Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday morning services will be live-streamed online.
To learn more about Lenten spiritual practices visit their website.