Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rash Wednesday

We have another guest blogger step up to the plate....

My dad's entry below reminded Papa Rooster of the story about another Baptist church that wanted to begin their own Ash Wednesday tradition...

They too had quite a time getting the old palms lit up (there is an art to this); so being experienced Barbecuers they grabbed some lighter fluid and poured it on. The leaves took flame and made a very fine ash that seemed perfect for their inaugural rite of imposition.

Unfortunately, there was an unanticipated Lenten discipline awaiting them. The fluid left some chemical residue in the ash and everyone in the church began to feel a strange burning sensation where the ash marked their skin. Later, after most of them had washed off the irritant they each sported impressive, cruciform red rashes on the forehead. A new penitential dimension was added, and with a kind of Lenten
beginner's luck, these Baptists were able to practice a mortification of the flesh that many liturgical rigorists would envy. ;-)

I was told, however, that they abandoned this fledgling tradition the following year.

(For the record, I heard this from one of the parishioners who was involved in burning the reluctant palms... so, it's not an urban myth, or a chapel legend!)

-Papa Rooster


HolyMama! said...

Now THAT would have been unforgettable!!

owlhaven said...