Ash Wednesday recognized |

Ash Wednesday recognized

Sarah Gonser

For the uninitiated, it sounds like a pretty grim invocation. But for believers, the words are dharma.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

With those words, Monsignor Murrough Wallace placed ash crosses on the foreheads of the kneeling faithful – a symbol of humanity, mortality and the fact that one day, all humans will return to where they came from.

Nearly 100 people attended the noon Ash Wednesday service at St. Theresa Catholic Church. Services were also held in the morning and evening.

“Basically, what Lent is all about is challenging ourselves in whatever way is meaningful to us,” Wallace told the congregation. “It’s about prayer, fasting and alms-giving.”

To many, Ash Wednesday, which is also the first day of Lent, is a deeply emotional day, rooted in tradition and faith.

“It’s a part of my religion, I’ve always done it,” said Alberta Finnegan, as she left the church. “It’s a reality check – we’re going back to being ashes one day.”

Her husband Patrick added, “It gives me peace. I don’t know why.”

For Darlyne Koss, a Tahoe Keys resident, Ash Wednesday is about forgiveness.

“I came here today because I want forgiveness for my sins,” Koss said. “I really believe in God. My spirit side prompted me to come. We’re just dust and all the rest is just ego and unimportant.”

The season of Lent lasts 46 days, from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.

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