today is ash wednesday, the first day of lent. aside from weddings and funerals, i can generally count the number times i attend church services during a given year on one hand. ash wednesday is one. the ashes themselves just highlight a day that should be spent focused on repentance (and, for some observant christians, may include fasting to varying degrees).
this morning before coming to the office, i went to st. peter's church on barclay street and, after a short mass, received my ashes.
yesterday, katie and the kids in her confirmation class volunteered at the shrove tuesday pancake dinner (a sort of lent prequel, if you will). tonight they'll attend church service and receive ashes.