So, I went to an Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday morning on my way to work.
I've actually never done this before; when I was still in school (and was anxious to skip a couple of classes like all my friends), my parents said "NO!" quite emphatically when I asked if I could go. I could have gone in Scotland, I suppose, but there's quite a Protestant-Catholic divide in Britain that I really can't get, having not grown up there, so I thought I'd better not even try to get into that. Then, there's that whole thing about me going to South Plains on Wednesday evenings. So, that left me, this year, looking for an early-morning Ash Wednesday service.
I googled and found a church that is between my apartment and my office offering a 7 AM service, but I ran across another church in between here and there, and since it was getting close to 7 by that time, I just stopped off at the first church I ran across, basically.
So, I heard the homily about fasting, got some ashes on my forehead, watched some people take communion, and then slipped out because it was time for me to go. Unfortunately, I did a fair amount of sweating between the church and the office (I was on my bike), so by the time I arrived I had an ashy smudge across my forehead, and when I tried to get the sweat off, the ashes came off, too.
Next year, I'll choose a less-sweaty option for getting to work.