Christian parishes in Chicago mark their foreheads with palm ashes this Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lenten season for Christians, traveling to various churches and transit sites.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 2022 season of Lent, which is a 40-day period of reflection, prayer and fasting before Easter. The ashes of the burnt palms are placed in the shape of a cross on the foreheads of believers – a symbol of repentance.
Ashes are available at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago, located at 700 W. Adams St., from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the church. There will be a liturgical service at 5:30 p.m., although there is also a live Mass at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday still available.
The Catholic Church was also parked inside Union Station until 1:30 p.m.
Urban Village Church will be at Metra stations, Chicago Transit Authority “L” stops, Daley Plaza, Loyola University and outside of a busy shopping corridor in Hyde Park. For a full list of times and locations, visit the church’s Facebook page.
Other parishes will also be in several CTA stations.
A coalition of churches will also observe Ash Wednesday by launching a ’40 Days of Peace’ campaign in Pilsen. The coalition, known as the Pilsen Faith Table Initiative, calls on all churches, businesses and residents to be “peacemakers” in the neighborhood.
Pastor Hannah Kardon of the Urban Village Church said last year his Methodist congregation sent ashes to people’s homes with a prayer and also set up at two locations in town to distribute them.
This year, church members will be at 12 locations across the city in addition to returning to in-person Ash Wednesday services.
But they will continue virtual events and have sent ashes to those who requested it.
Ministers and priests from seven churches in Pilsen will offer prayer and ashes at the 18th Street Pink Line station, 1710 W. 18th St., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They will also be at Pink Line’s Damen station, 2010 S. Damen Ave., at the same times.
Chicago Airports Catholic Chaplaincy, located at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, will offer ashes at Masses and liturgical services throughout the day, which it has been doing since the 1980s.