Trinity English Lutheran's senior pastor, the Rev. Gary Erdos, believes some people don't have time to attend an Ash Wednesday service or belong to a faith tradition that doesn't offer one, a church news release said. So he decided to make ashes available for anyone who finds it meaningful.
Trinity English Lutheran, 450 W. Washington Blvd., made the ashes by burning palm branches blessed last year on Palm Sunday, the news release said.
Use of ashes on Ash Wednesday is more common among liturgically based denominations, such as the Lutheran Church, Catholic Church, Episcopal Church and Orthodox Church.
More InformationSt. Patrick's Day on a Friday in Lent
Catholics can eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, but they are asked to make an a different sacrifice in return for that dispensation, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend announced in the diocesan newspaper, Today's Catholic.
As happens occasionally, St. Patrick's Day on March 17 this year falls on a Friday. During Lent, Catholics age 15 and older are required to abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
In response to several requests for a dispensation to allow people to eat meat on that day, Rhoades decreed Catholics in the diocese may substitute one of the following actions March 17 in return for eating meat:
* Attend Mass.
* Recite the Rosary for the intention of peace in the world.
* Perform one of the seven corporal works of mercy — feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit prisoners, bury the dead and donate to help the poor.
"This dispensation is meant to preserve the penitential spirit of a Lenten Friday while also allowing for the celebration of a great saint whose feast should be celebrated in a spiritual manner and not merely in a secular context," Rhoades wrote.