Ash Wednesday already? The Los Angeles Times writes about the calendar’s surprise. “Today is Ash Wednesday, and if the start of the Lenten season leading to Easter seems early this year, there’s a reason: The last time Lent arrived this early was 1913.”
More Protestant participation. The Houston Chronicle finds interest growing beyond Roman Catholics. “Protestant churches in recent years have increasingly turned to the rite to increase spirituality and devotional preparation for Easter Sunday among their members.” Elsewhere on the site, a blog invites readers to confess their sins in the comments. Two of the intial three comments think the idea’s a little weird.
Lent vs. economic effects. New Hampshire’s Foster Daily Democrat talks to a professor who thinks Lenten sacrifices may help people deal with economic issues. “The Lenten season â€” which lasts 40 days from Ash Wednesday today to Easter Sunday on March 23 â€” may make it easier for Americans to cut back on spending as they deal with the effects of a recession, she said.”
Ash ordering trend? Still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, many churches on Mississippi’s Gulf coast are ordering their ashes this year, including orders on some websites, the Clarion-Ledger reports. “Traditionally, the residue is created by burning palm leaves used during the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration….”
Lent vs. chocolate sales. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch considers the question. “For chocolate lovers who surrender their bonbons for God, this presents a vexing problem, or at least a cruel scenario. How can they say no to the tempting contents of all those heart-shaped boxes? For at least one chocolate company, the situation goes beyond mere dilemma and actually puts a dent in sales.”