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MSU Students ready to Celebrate Ash Wednesday

John Ragai
Flickr via Creative Commons

Ash Wednesday, a holiday celebrated by some western Christian Churches, is Wednesday, March 6. The holiday begins the 40 day period of Lent, ultimately leading up to Easter Sunday.


Ash Wednesday is a day when many Christians openly display a cross of ashes on their forehead as a symbol of their faith. The ashes, which are often remnants of palm leaves from the previous palm Sunday mass, are rubbed on worshippers’ foreheads by church leaders. Those who receive the ashes wear them as a symbol of personal atonement and penance.


Missouri State University students at Catholic Campus Ministries are some of the many college students who are eager to participate in Ash Wednesday. We spoke to a few of them.

"I think that Ash Wednesday is something that has always stood out for me. One of the big times is Ash Wednesday because it’s one of the only times of the year that we get to wear an outward sign of our faith and what we believe. It’s always been a really cool opportunity to start a conversation with people," said William Steppig.


“I think the coolest thing about Ash Wednesday is that it’s actually one our most attended masses at Catholic Campus ministry, and I think the reason why is because I think all of us have this longing to admit that we’re sinners and that we’re not perfect human beings and that’s hard to do on a regular basis. I think Ash Wednesday gives us, every single person, whether they are practicing or not, to come together and to say ‘I am not perfect and I want to be forgiven, and I want to be free from that sin,’” said Morgan Partlow.

"I think what I really find significant or nice about Ash Wednesday is that it’s a chance to kind of recenter yourself. It’s an attempt to enter into the season of Lent, this 40 day season that prepares us for celebration, but Ash Wednesday is kind of a chance to reflect on our need for forgiveness, and our need to reflect on our own human failings and struggles, and stuff like that. And entering this period of dealing with that, and reconciling with our mistakes, and with our frailties," said Trevor Barreca.


Barreca said while Ash Wednesday may be just a tradition for some, for him, it goes much deeper.


"I just love Ash Wednesday kind of being a reminder for me to look at myself and look at things that maybe I could strive more to be like my Heavenly Father," Barreca said.