From the Desk of Mr. Zissman

The musings of an over-stimulated mind

Lent Me A Hand: Day 1 – Hail to the King

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HAPPY ASH WEDNESDAY!

Hail to the king, baby

Wait, this is the wrong King for Ash Wednesday

Wait, time-out…that’s the not the Ash I meant. Wait a second…

...dust to dust.

…okay, there we go. That’s better.

So this is my “first” Ash Wednesday, so to speak. By this I mean it’s not the first one I’ve lived through, but it’s the first one I’m actively participating in. For my non-Catholic homies, lemme drop some knowledge on you:

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms or Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned. After the ceremonial burning of the remains of the palms, the ash is mixed with a small amount of water to create a more adhesive substance.

Now at my old church, a Free Will Baptist one, we never did anything of the sort. The only real religious ceremony we observed was the time we had a quasi-Eucharist with saltine crackers and small plastic shot glasses of grape juice. At the time I didn’t know if this was a religious ceremony or a preschooler’s snack time before sitting down to watch Wonder Pets.

Now, years later, I’ve found myself falling away from my Baptist/Protestant upbringing to the point where I never really considered myself a Free Will Baptist at all. To me the Baptists were too fragmented, with too much infighting and cliques about which particular strain was the best. (Off the top of my head, I can think of Free Will Baptists, Independent Baptists, Southern Baptists, Hard Shell Baptists, etc.)

It wasn’t till I attended my first Catholic Mass that I felt I had finally found what I had looked for. It’s hard to describe exactly how I felt, but it was something like a mix of awe and bliss. There was no ranting about demonic haircuts, the satanic values of Pokemon or the insidious homosexual agenda of Bob the Builder. (All real things I had heard preached at one point or another at my old church.) Rather, it was about coming closer to God, of peace, understanding and it was awesome.

So that’s where I’m at right now. This is a huge step for me because I come from a long line of Protestants and I’m not exactly comfortable with sticking out. Still, in my heart, I feel I made the right decision. As Lent goes on, I hope to grow stronger in my new faith.

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Written by MrZissman

03/09/2011 at 3:06 PM

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