Ashes on El Paseo and the High Seas

Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday, a team from St. Margaret’s, Jane Hodnik, Floss Teiger, Betty Baxter, Bill LaVoie, Thom Allen and Jan Romerdahl, led by Mother Deb and Deacon Cherry, spent the noon hour in various locations on El Paseo offering prayers and imposing ashes to anyone who asked as they strolled down the street.

The foot traffic on El Paseo was somewhat slow, due to the very cool weather and the tennis tournament going on in Indian Wells that day, but our team was undeterred by the weather and approximately 40 people received ashes during the hour.

Ash Wednesday onboard the Emerald Princess

Approximately an hour or so earlier (given the time difference between California and Hawaii), I was the Officiant of a “Morning Prayer-style” service onboard the Emerald Princess using the liturgy for Ash Wednesday. This service was attended by approximately 100 of my fellow guests on the ship. I was fortunate enough to have two other volunteers who assisted me with the imposition of ashes.

As I returned to my stateroom after the service, my stateroom steward asked me about the ashes on my forehead and told me how he always loves being at home on Ash Wednesday to go to church to receive them. He asked me if he could get his ashes from me, and I happily complied with his request, praying along with him in the hallway right in front of my stateroom door!

I am certain the Ashes on El Paseo group felt the same joy in their hearts that I felt in mine by being able to walk in the Way of Love and serving in this way.

About Jim Duke 139 Articles
Jim Duke is the Public Information Volunteer for St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Palm Desert. In this role, he is Editor-in-Chief of St. Margaret's News, Podcast Creator and Host of "St. Margaret's in a Minute," coordinator for local media relations and assists with the management of St. Margaret's social media accounts.