We aren’t unfamiliar with Ash Wednesday, as it marks the beginning of Lent, but we’ve never attended or belonged to a church that celebrated Ash Wednesday with a special service, much less through the application of ashes on our foreheads. I’d always mentally categorized the ritual as being just that – a ritual, not necessarily something that had a real purpose other than an outward form of acknowledgement. Basically, I didn’t really get it.
Honestly, I still don’t entirely get it, but that’s how it is with something new. I won’t really know the impact of acknowledging Ash Wednesday until after I’ve done it, or maybe after I’ve done it a few times. This is all part of following and celebrating the entire liturgical calendar, not just Easter and Christmas, for the first time. From what I understand, our church involves the children in this service, so it will be a real challenge for me to explain to the boys something I only roughly understand. We’re learning together and I somewhat enjoy it this way. I don’t have all the words in my vocabulary yet, and neither do they.
I’m happy to say that Jeremy has already memorized the Lord’s Prayer, and Jackson is getting close. We recite it regularly, which isn’t something I ever did before now, and for some reason it’s comforting to hear the boys say these words out loud. The prayer will hopefully mean more to them as they age and mature in their faith, but for now we’re just planting little seeds and giving them room to grow.
In other unrelated news, I was recently accepted into graduate school and have begun the process of finding scholarships and other funding to support this potential endeavor. It could all be for nothing since I refuse to take out student loans again (it took us nine years to pay off my undergraduate loans), and tuition is a screaming fortune. Still, it was nice to receive the acceptance letter, so I reveled in the accomplishment for one entire day.