Ash Wednesday is just around the corner. As I write this, it’s 11:40pm on Shrove Tuesday, which means I have about twenty minutes of merriment left. We’re not allowed to laugh during Lent, right?
In this brief window, I need to bring you up to date with the latest trends in the imposition of ashes.
1. The Early Bird Ashes
No doubt here, this young woman got in early when the ashes were still dark and thick, before Father had to start adding oil to stretch out the recipe a bit. (I had to do this with my pancake mix yesterday… Slowly, they went from thick, doughy pancakes to the thinnest crepes you’ve ever seen.) The moral of this story? First in, best ashed.
2. The Family Affair Ashes
Christmas family photos are so last year. (I defy you to argue with that.) Groovy families are all about the Lenten photo this year. With all that ash, it’s the perfect thing to hang over the fireplace! (Why not upgrade to matching sackcloth too?)
3. The Drive-Thru Ashes
The drive-thru ashes trend looks set to continue you this year. When a liturgical action begins to sound like a late-night McDonalds run, things are not looking good. As the young cashier told me, “Remember, this food tastes like dust and to the dust, you will want to return it.”
4. The Connery Ashes
Shean Connery always nailsh Lent. He brings his Shcottish charm ash only a Schottish bashtard can. (Just kidding, I love the Scots. Please don’t send Nessie to kill me!)
5. The Fashionable Ashes
Just because you’re repenting of your sins doesn’t mean you can start adding sartorial ones to the list. With his stylish charcoal suit, this dashing gent has perfectly co-ordinated his outfit with his Lenten penance. And that cross? Definitely courture.
6. The Colbert Ashes
Stephen Tyrone Colbert. The man so saintly he turns bread into rocks just to piss the devil off. I don’t know why he has ashes on. I assume it’s the same deal as when Christ was baptised in Jordan: no sins to repent of but he still wanted to be obedient to the law of God. What a guy.
Finally, a word for all you connasheurs out there.
Sometimes, you’re not going to get the ashes right. Sometimes, they’re going to be a little off centre…
Sometimes, you’re not even going to do a cross…
But don’t be a perfectionist about it…
‘Cause at the end of the day… You could have bigger problems.