The Essence of Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the commencement of Lent, a 40-day journey of introspection and penitence in Christian practice.. This day confronts us with the realities of human mortality and our propensity for sin. During services, ashes derived from the previous year's Palm Sunday palms are applied to foreheads in a cross shape, symbolizing our commitment to repentance, life examination, and spiritual growth.
Ash Wednesday is a call to deepen our spiritual connection and ready ourselves for Easter.
“Ashes to Go” – Bringing Tradition to the Streets
Atkinson Congregational Church is redefining Ash Wednesday traditions with an “Ashes to Go” event, now in its seventh year. On February 14, between 8-9 a.m. and 4-5 p.m., community members can drive to 101 Main St., Atkinson, to receive ashes and a blessing from Pastor Jim Thomas, all from the comfort of their vehicle. This event also supports local food banks, as participants are encouraged to donate grocery items. “Ashes to Go” is a testament to inclusivity, allowing individuals from all walks of life to partake in this sacred day, irrespective of their church attendance. The church ensures a safe and respectful distribution, with no direct contact and the use of disposable gloves and fresh cotton swabs.
Evening Ash Wednesday Service
For those seeking a more traditional observance, the church invites you to its Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m. This service can be attended in-person or viewed online on our Live Stream. It's an opportunity to join in communal worship, reflecting on the profound meanings of the day.
Atkinson Congregational Church’s approach to Ash Wednesday, from “Ashes to Go” to the evening service, demonstrates our dedication to making spiritual experiences more accessible and relevant in our modern world.