Ash Wednesday will be something of a scramble in temporary worship conditions in my parish. Ordinarily, our church is conveniently located across the street from campus–the student union in fact. And we get droves of people for four Masses–one at noon and three in the evening.
It won’t be as convenient to walk to the Iowa State Center, which is big enough to hold the people who come to these liturgies. So we added an early morning Mass in our basement. The noon service will be Liturgy of the Word, plus distribution of ashes.
So it’s time to sit in the purple chair before the purple days of Lent. If Ash Wednesday were yours to plan, and assuming your usual availability of clergy, how would you arrange the proceedings? Use a liturgy of the Word more liberally? What are the ideal times to accommodate both parishioners and those occasional Catholics who drop in for the “obligatory” observance of this non-obligatory holy day?