Today: Ashes to Go at Monument Circle's Christ Church Cathedral

This Ash Wednesday, as we live in an increasingly busied world (for better and worse), the pastors at Christ Church Cathedral are once again making it simple and easy to receive a Lenten blessing downtown. For the second straight year, they are presenting “Ashes on the Go” in front of their beautiful, historic parish, an opportunity to mark the beginning of Lent. Per the church’s website, “It is a time for introspection, reflection, renewal, and amendment of life. We receive the sign of the Cross in ash on our foreheads to remind ourselves both of our own mortality, and of God’s abundant grace and immortality that raises us to new life.”

Amidst four worship services today, the church’s reverends are out in the cold to welcome passersby warmly. The practice began early this morning, from 7:30 to 9 a.m., to meet workers heading in for the day. It continued from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to greet those going to lunch. By 1 p.m., they had greeted more than 140 people. Pastors will be on the street on Monument Circle’s northeast spoke again from 4 to 5:30 p.m. to offer blessings to passersby.

“I’m always struck by the degree to which people are grateful for this,” says Rev. Andy Shamel, accompanied over the lunchtime hours by Rev. Canon Zoila Manzaneres. “It’s a reminder that our lives are not our own, that we belong to God. I think people value the quietness of it, as it’s so different from the things going on in our lives. It’s a different message. People find value in that.”

In the 10 minutes that this reporter spent in speaking to Rev. Canon Manzaneres and Rev. Shamel, six downtown workers stopped by to receive ashes.

Remaining services at the church today are at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The latter is a Spanish-language event. More information is available at