Christians Celebrate Ash Wednesday; LGBTQ Community Gets Special "Glitter" Ash As Show Of Support

By Marguerite Chang - 01 Mar '17 05:30AM

The faithful from all over the world is getting ready for the beginning of Lent and the season is being ushered in by the tradition of Ash Wednesday. It is during this day that Christians go to church and to mark their foreheads with ash.

In a show of support for the LGBTQ Community, some churches in Chicago will be mixing purple glitter with the ashes and this will be used for March 1's Ash Wednesday ritual. This option if available for the faithful who wants to show their support for the LGBTQ community.

A faith-based group, Parity, works with people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer is spearheading the "Glitter Ash Wednesday" action. The group is hoping that this initiative will show a message that the Church is one with the LGBTQ community. Some churches in Chicago will be offering the glitter ashes in certain times. Berry United Methodist Church in Lincoln Square, Unity Lutheran Church in Edgewater and the Holy Covenant Metropolitan Community Church in Brookfield have their respective schedules.

Pastor April Gutierrez of Berry United Methodist believes that it is important for the church to share the message of "love and inclusivity" and this is their response to the intolerance against the LGBTQ community. This is the response against the growing issue of exclusivity and intolerance towards the group.

It is traditional for Christians to mark the beginning of lent by having their foreheads marked with the traditional gray ash. The 40-day period is usually spend for fasting, prayer and reflection. This will culminate during Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ashes used for Ash Wednesday are taken from the ashes of palms burned from the past year's Palm Sunday celebrations. Usually, the ashes have oil for the scent of the incense and Holy Water in the mix.

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