Glitter with your ashes? Some churches are offering it this Ash Wednesday

Mixing glitter with ashes is seen as a way to support the LGBT faithful.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

All the Mardi Gras parades have to wrap up on Fat Tuesday because what comes next is a somber occasion: Ash Wednesday.

But this year some Christian churches are mixing a little color into the ashes.

Purple glitter is being used as a symbol of support for the faithful who are LGBT.

Episcopal News Service explains that ashes on the forehead signify mortality and repentance and on Ash Wednesday they're a sign to the world that the person wearing them is a believer preparing for Lent.

But this year some churches are adding another layer of symbolism. An Episcopal priest in the New York area got together with an LGBT advocacy group called Parity to create Glitter Ash Wednesday.

Parity says on its website that mixing glitter with ashes is a way of "blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration." The group has been packaging glitter/ash mixtures and sending them by request to churches around the country.

The group's executive director tells USA Today: “This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say ‘We are here.'”

Fargo church participating

Parity's map of participating churches includes one in Fargo, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

Plymouth is holding its Ash Wednesday service at 6 p.m. but will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for people to receive ashes. They can choose between traditional ashes or Glitter + Ash.

Rev. Grace Murray wrote in the Plymouth Weekly Chronicle: "The glitter + ash is an open invitation to the LGBTQ community to be seen by God and everyone as people of faith."

Of course, this move to inject a new symbolism into Ash Wednesday does not sit well with everyone.

Rev. Ruth Meyers, a dean and professor at a divinity school in California, told Episcopal News Service the blending of symbols could be confusing or even "spiritually problematic."

Meyers notes that the use of ashes has a specific meaning.

“It’s an ancient symbol of repentance, of regret … our mortality,” she said. “To try to combine that symbol with glitter, which seems to be about a celebration and an affirmation of a particular group of people, seems to confuse the symbols in a way that doesn’t allow either symbol to work.”

Next Up

Flickr -  Bank Plaze Nov 2020 - Chad Davis

US Bank employees won't return to downtown Minneapolis office next month

The company, citing COVID's resurgence, has pushed back its office return plans.

Katie Storm Twitter Bally Sports North - Aug 4 2021

MN native Katie Storm returning home for role with Bally Sports North

The St. Cloud State grad had worked for Fox Sports North before leaving for Philadelphia.

Flickr - Wisconsin State Fair cream puff - USDA

Free cream puff for people who get vaccinated at the Wisconsin State Fair

Get a shot, then head over to Cream Puff Pavilion for a free treat.

theodore wirth trailhead

Minneapolis parks now requiring masks in all indoor spaces

Anyone going inside recreation centers, ice arenas, and indoor spaces at pools must put on a mask.

Eric Reinbold - Pennington County Sheriff Aug 4 2021

At-large murder suspect was caught after triggering trail camera

Authorities had been searching for Eric Reinbold for nearly a month.

Flickr - toxic algae bloom - MPCA Photos

Climate change is warming lakes, leading to more toxic algae blooms

The MPCA says blue-green algae blooms are occurring all across the state.

vaccine, covid

Minnesotans can now register to get $100 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine

It's available for those who get their first jab between July 30 and Aug. 15.

Phillip Miller

Benton County prosecutor charged with sexual assault of teenager

Phillip Miller has been charged with varying levels of sexual assault charges.

Pixabay - pistol holster handgun

Permit-to-carry law doesn't violate 2nd amendment, MN Supreme Court says

A man charged with carrying a pistol without a permit argued it was unconstitutional.

covid

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, August 4

The delta variant has been leading to higher case counts and hospitalizations in Minnesota.

Related

Glitter with your ashes? Some churches are offering it this Ash Wednesday

Mixing glitter with ashes is seen as a way to support the LGBT faithful.

Minneapolis putting all-gender restrooms in city buildings

The 44 buildings will still have men's and women's rooms, as well.

The MN mom who sued her transgender kid just got her lawsuit thrown out

The judge said nobody had deprived the mom of her parental rights.

Minnesota church calls time on its lutefisk dinner after 70 years

Faith Lutheran in Forest Lake has struggled to find new volunteers to help out.

You can get the overdose antidote at your local drugstore now

Minnesota has implemented the new law that makes naloxone available without a prescription.

First Covenant Church of Minneapolis

Minneapolis church facing eviction over its LGBTQ support

The national Evangelical Covenant Church is to decide on whether to remove the church from its roster.

Why are flags at half staff? Because of 4 Army chaplains

74 years ago today, four faith leaders went down with their ship

Why are flags at half staff? Because of 4 Army chaplains

74 years ago today, four faith leaders went down with their ship