Students and alumni acknowledged humility in their observance of Ash Wednesday. Services were held in both Robert Carr Chapel and the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom for members of the community to receive their ashes, according to an email sent by minister to the university, the Rev. Angela Kaufman.
Kaufman conducted the service at Robert Carr Chapel. She said she saw students from a variety of religious backgrounds attend the service.
The services on campus, like Paul the Apostle writing to the early churches in the Bible, attracted a diverse group of Christians, Kaufman said. Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, a season which students and faculty reflect on in a number of different ways, Kaufman said. Some people fast or give up something, while others choose to take on a practice which will bring them closer to God, such as journaling or meditating, she said.
Jonathan Rodriguez, a sophomore religion major and member of the Catholic Community, said, to him, Ash Wednesday meant a time to prepare for Lent by reflecting on his own faults and focusing on what brings him closer to God. Ash Wednesday was a good time for students to take time out of their busy schedule to observe the meaning of their lives, associate chaplain the Rev. Jeremy Albers said.
Claire Colvill, a freshman psychology major, said Ash Wednesday represented repentance and cleansing.
The ashes symbolize our own flesh and humanity, Travis Hildenbrand, senior anthropology major, said. The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life offered students a variety of community outlets through student organizations and contemporary services held every Monday, Albers said.
The Rev. Todd Boling, associate chaplain of Religious and Spiritual Life, would collect devotionals from both faculty and students and send them out twice a week to help support the community in the Lenten season, Kaufman said.