Busted Halo
feature: religion & spirituality
February 24th, 2009

Show Us Your Ash

Busted Halo's Ash Wednesday Challenge



It’s an experience that any Catholic will understand. You decide that you’d like to stop by church on Ash Wednesday to get the obligatory ashes on your forehead and you get in line with everyone else who has had the same idea. While waiting, your mind begins to wander and you’re oblivious to all the people passing you by as they return from the altar. Eventually you get to be second or third in line and notice that the people just ahead of you are sporting ashes the size of billboards on their foreheads. Enormous, indeterminate blobs of soot now decorate their once spotless noggins as they return to their pews. Your heart begins to sink as you realize that you’re going to be forced to return to work with a gigantic advertisement on your forehead that essentially says “Interested in knowing more about Catholicism? Ask me!”

“Is the minister giving out ashes making a cross or signing his name on there?” you wonder in a panic. “His thumb must be the size of a 5 wood…is he blind?” you ask yourself.  Before you know it you’re at the altar offering your own cranium as a canvas for this zealous finger painter.

Sound familiar? As part of Busted Halo’s Fast, Pray, Give Lenten Calendar we want you to show us your ash. Simply take a picture of your ashes and send us the jpeg at ashes@bustedhalo.com. We’ll post the best ones we receive and enter your name in our  drawing for the “Ultimate Lent Incentive” grand prize that includes an Easter basket stocked with a brand new, customized iPod Nano as well as Busted Halo M&Ms, Swedish fish, a copy of The Green Bible and an assortment of other books from our Halo store.

Every day, starting Monday February 23, our Fast, Pray, Give Lenten Calendar will feature a new way to think about Lent, as well as new and practical ideas for how to approach the ancient Lenten spiritual disciplines of fasting, prayer and almsgiving in ways that are actually relevant to your life.

Failure is not an option…
Worried about not following through again on what you’ve “given up” this Lent? Trust us, we’ve designed a plan for approaching Lent that actually makes sense and doesn’t involve giving up chocolate. Even more importantly, because we’ve designed our Lent calendar to feature a different set of interesting and very doable activities every day, you can’t fail. If you slip up one day you can just pick up again the next day with a new Fast, Pray, Give… you can even share any struggles you might be having at our “Slip Support Station” on BustedHalo’s Facebook page.

A little help…
Of course, everyone needs a little help or encouragement now and then, so in addition to our Facebook “Slip Support Station” we’ll be offering “Lent Incentives” each day beginning February 23. Every day we’ll give readers the chance to enter a random drawing to win one of the several different “Lent Incentives,” we’re offering, including: a copy of The Green Bible; a tin can of Busted Halo M&M’s; the March issue of Magnificat with the Lenten Companion; a bag of Busted Halo Swedish Fish; and a copy of The Sacred Art of Fasting. Each entry will also make you eligible to win the “Ultimate Lent Incentive” mentioned above.

Don’t forget to send us your ash shots by Monday March 2 (ashes@bustedhalo.com), and make sure to check back to our calendar every day—beginning February 23—for a new opportunity to Fast, Pray and Give this Lent.

The Author : The Editors

See more articles by (437).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • http://istennaia-ledy.ru/ istennaialedy

    Thanks for the useful site.Keep up the good work.God bless you and keep you.

  • http://informative-portal.ru/ rmativeportal

    hi, you have super site.

  • http://blog-magii.ru/ blogmagii

    mint page ! nice work ! and that red frame is real nice

  • Rev. Gene Vavrick

    Loved this post! As one who give out ashes at least 5 times on Ash Wednesday, I have to say that this was great!

  • Mary K

    I don’t really consider the article title to be a play on words. It is just a statement. I kind of wondering why the first commenter’s mind automatically associated the title with something offensive. I had to ponder it for a moment before I realized what the first commenter was even talking about.

    Keep up the GREAT work bustedhalo!!

  • Brian Brady

    “Sorry, guys. This is truly offensive.”

    Maybe not. I, for one, didn’t notice the “play on words” until you pointed it out, Catholic. I took it as a proclamation of Catholic pride.

    If it was edgy, so be it. While the Lent season lends itself to solemn reflection, it’s concludes with a joyous celebration. Kudos to Busted Halo for reaching out to those who have forgotten how special it is to wear the ashes!

  • Karla

    Perception – I take this as word for word – my perception is that we are honoring this day by honoring the ashes we are wearing in public where often in the past I felt (seems others have too) some anxiety when wearing ashes “in public”

    I’ve started my Pray Fast Give challenge for lent (no subway sandwich today!). I will also send in a picture of my ashes, not at all offended by your use of words, I see it as being meant to reach out to people like me. As a life long catholic, I think this will be one of the best lents ever – I’m sick of giving up chocolate, it never felt like something that had anything to do with my spirituality and 16 years of catholic education never provided me with an opportunity for spiritual growth like what I believe your Pray Fast Give lenten challenge will provide.

  • Mindy

    Agreed. While it is a solemn day remember that Jesus also said Be private and go to your room to be sullen. It is also a reminder of the holy journey toward hope and resurrection. So, dear busted halo, I agree with mimi….keep up the holy humor! WE all need it in our lives! Life is way too serious enough! Thanks for this wonderful Lenten calendar, et al. I am loading it up for my students! they love the humor! Makes us more human!

  • mimi

    Don’t agree with the idea that any human practice is too solemn to be examined with humor and challenge. Thank you for this website, for the articles on lent, and for your holy sense of humor. All this from a protestant who devoutly and solemnly observes the day and the season… :)

  • Tara

    I applaud your cheeky challenge and as a Catholic am not at all offended by your play on words. The guys who wrote Made to Stick often say that if people don’t have strong reactions to what you’re doing, you may as well not be doing it–without the emotion, the effort is likely to be forgettable. So keep up the good work–my ash shot will be on its way next week.

  • Kathryn

    Sounds like you’ve got great stuff planned. Unfortunately I’ve already decided that I’m giving up the internet for Lent (except for work.) I’ll see you on Sundays . . .

  • Catholic

    Sorry, guys. This is truly offensive.

    Ash Wednesday is a very solemn day in the Catholic Church. It is a day we are called to reflect on our sins, our mortality, to atone, and seek forgiveness.

    The wordplay with the word “ash” just makes matters even worse. :( Please preserve what is sacred with prudence.

powered by the Paulists