What Is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40 days leading to Easter, where we begin a journey towards preparing our hearts for Easter, and the world-changing miracle that celebration represents.
Lent begins with a small marking of ashes, a little dust that confronts us with our sin, and our mortality – from dust to come and to dust we return, save for the miraculous actions of Easter day. This season is typically one of discipleship – where we try to transform our dirt into something holy. People often “give up” something for Lent, an exercise that reminds us in our sacrifice to be mindful of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
Discipleship always starts with an encounter with Jesus. Even though we are the ones marked with dust on Ash Wednesday, Jesus is ultimately the one who gets dirty. The sacrifice Jesus made is what frees us from the markings of sin – because of him, we walk free and clean.
On Ash Wednesday, you wear a cross on your hand or forehead as a visible reminder that though you are marked with dust today, you are forever unmarked by the gift and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
When Is Ash Wednesday?
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14.
How Can I Celebrate Ash Wednesday This Year?
No matter what your schedule is, First Methodist Houston is working to make sure that everyone can have a sacred and moving Ash Wednesday experience. There are traditional services featuring the imposition of ashes at our downtown campus – at noon in the sanctuary and 7 p.m. in the Downtown campus chapel. The noon service will also be live-streamed so that everyone, no matter where they are, can take part in the ceremony.
We will be continuing our tradition of having Curbside Ashes on both campuses – starting during morning rush hour and continuing throughout the day, including over the lunch period. You can stop by any time during those times and receive the imposition of ashes from a station at either campus.
West & Downtown Curbside Ashes Details
Curbside Ashes (Downtown)
Our Curbside Ash Station is easy to find. Drive down Clay Street at the front of the church. Cones will mark the spot where you can pull in and experience the imposition of ashes, right in front of the church’s front steps. Someone will be waiting there for you – maybe even a pastor in a robe and stole! We break out the fancy stuff for Ash Wednesday.
Curbside Ashes (West)
Please drive carefully, as Ash Wednesday is a school day on the West Campus. The station can be reached from both direction on Westpark Drive. If traveling west (towards Sam Houston Tollway), pull into the far right lane and exit into the church parking lot at your first opportunity.
After receiving the imposition of ashes and driving away, signs will direct you back onto Westpark Drive, headed towards the Sam Houston Tollway. If you need to head back east, you can turn right at the feeder road and right again on Richmond Road to travel back in the other direction.