Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday Exchanged for Brimstone Rub Day?

Those of you with any contact with the Catholic Church may be aware that today was Ash Wednesday. Today, around Philadelphia at least, the observance seemed literally bolder.

I remember growing up Catholic in the Boston area, and on Ash Wednesday, the ashes applied to the forehead were "ashen", that is, grey. People were "marked" at the mass, and went about their day with the reminder of "ashes to ashes", etc. Always thought it was an interesting day in the Catholic calendar.

Today, in Philly and the surrounding area, the ash I'm seeing isn't grey, but a deep volcanic, pitch black. Is this how it's always been done in the Philly area? Has the Philadelphia diocese been using, or are now using a different sort of tree from the Boston area diocese. Has global warming affected the ash supply market?

Seriously, I'm curious about this.


Cod Peace said...

Maybe they're just rubbing with some of that famous Pennsylvania coal.

Cheesesteak the Impaler said...

I think that would be more Allentown than Philly, but I don't know reality from Billy Joel on that front.

Tiffani said...

they were pretty dark in the diocese of ogdensburg, ny too.
as far as i know, they're only supposed to use palms, altho my quirky small-town parish priest forgot AW one year and burned some maple leaves in his backyard for the occasion.