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March 9th, 2011

Ash Wednesday

ronebofh says that Ash Wednesday seems to him to be more like a Viking thing ...


Yes. I am going in to the noon Mass for Imposition of Ashes. IMPOSITION.

Every year on Palm Sunday we do this 'celebrate the triumphal entry into Jerusalem' and march around singing and waving palm leaves. Then we hide away the salvaged palm leaves (which are, after all, blessed and therefore sanctified and cannot be just thrown away) for almost a year and the clergy secretly burns them on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, and on Ash Wednesday, they use the ashes from that in a deliberate irony that's been so long going that it's lost its power to rust.

You kneel and they tell you "remember o man that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return" and wipe gritty ash in a cross on your forehead, squeak, squeak. And we remember that we're going to die and that everybody dies and that it is utterly out of our hands when this happens.

Thus, yes, rather Viking ... could only be moreso if we were to wear bearskins and run around with swords, but that's more in keeping with Mithraism that with Christianity.