Wednesday, February 25, 2009
People emerging from the 24th St. BART (subway) station in San Francisco this evening found themselves in the midst of what for some may have been a strange religious observance. Folks from the Episcopal South of Market Area Ministry wandered the plaza wearing black cassocks, offering to impose ashes on the foreheads of the willing.
There were quite a few takers. Some people found the event totally familiar and participated quite eagerly.
"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." The ancient formula marks the beginning of the 40 day long Christian penitential season of Lent.
Some passersby wanted more of an explanation.
Musicians provided a background drum beat.
Volunteers handed out a card to anyone who wanted more.
I was happy to get smudged.