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  #1  
Old Jan 23, '08, 6:30 am
Leopard Leopard is offline
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Default Ashes for Ash Wednesday

It has been the custom at our parish to collect palms from the previous Palm Sunday and burn them to provide the ashes for the upcoming Ash Wednesday. Our new pastor has observed that "commercially" available ashes are darker in color and have a stickier texture than those we get by burning our own. He suggests that something may have been added to the palms before burning or to the ashes afterward to cause this. I have asked the company that we used to buy ashes from (and from which we still buy our palms and other supplies) what, if anything, is added to their ashes, but they have declined to tell me, which I suppose I can't blame them for.

Does anyone know how palms or their ashes may be treated to produce a better quality ash, darker and more durable? I can already think of several additives such as diesel soot, that would make the ash both darker and stickier, but I am pretty sure this would be unsuitable for use as a sacramental. So I would especially appreciate if anyone could refer me to an authorized source saying what additives, if any, the Church will permit, as I am sure my pastor will want to know the source for any suggestions I present to him.

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old Jan 23, '08, 7:00 am
snhs snhs is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Wikipedia seems to recommend adding amounts of water or olive oil as a "fixative". Although in your case it may have more to do with the way in which the palms are burnt as opposed to what additives are used.
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  #3  
Old Jan 23, '08, 7:04 am
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lizaanne lizaanne is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Why do they NEED to be darker and more sticky? I don't wear my ashes for everyone to see, that is just a consequence of having them on my forehead. I don't see that it's even necessary and regular ashes are just fine and have been fine for many many years.



~Liza
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  #4  
Old Jan 23, '08, 9:20 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

if a bit of water or oil is not added (and it works best to add it to the individual dishes of ashes) they fly all over the place and are much harder to administer. if you are going to burn your own you also need to filter the ashes through mesh to get rid of big chunks, otherwise they can be very irritating, cinders get in eyes etc. for a large parish a commercial product may make more sense.
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  #5  
Old Jan 23, '08, 11:05 am
Leopard Leopard is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizaanne View Post
Why do they NEED to be darker and more sticky?...
Because my pastor requested this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizaanne View Post
...I don't wear my ashes for everyone to see....
Why not? They are supposed to be a sign, and I have found many opportunities to talk to people about Jesus resulting from them seeing my ashes.
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  #6  
Old Jan 23, '08, 11:12 am
Leopard Leopard is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
if a bit of water or oil is not added (and it works best to add it to the individual dishes of ashes) they fly all over the place and are much harder to administer. if you are going to burn your own you also need to filter the ashes through mesh to get rid of big chunks, otherwise they can be very irritating, cinders get in eyes etc. for a large parish a commercial product may make more sense.
I'll try a little olive oil. We have used water, but the ashes flake off as they dry out. And yes, I do sieve them.
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  #7  
Old Jan 23, '08, 11:24 am
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leopard View Post
Because my pastor requested this.

Why not? They are supposed to be a sign, and I have found many opportunities to talk to people about Jesus resulting from them seeing my ashes.
Every year at least one person has looked at me and said, "Oh, it's Ash Weednesday. I'll have to get to mass this evening."
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  #8  
Old Jan 23, '08, 11:31 am
iamrefreshed iamrefreshed is offline
 
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Kelley View Post
Every year at least one person has looked at me and said, "Oh, it's Ash Weednesday. I'll have to get to mass this evening."
That's funny. My priest says they get more people on Ash Wednesday than on Holy Days of Obligation!

I guess that's because they are giving something away?!?!
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  #9  
Old Jan 23, '08, 11:35 am
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beckers beckers is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamrefreshed View Post
That's funny. My priest says they get more people on Ash Wednesday than on Holy Days of Obligation!

I guess that's because they are giving something away?!?!
There are two types of so-so Catholics
CEO- Christmas and Easter Only
Alms- Only on days when they are giving things away (Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday)
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  #10  
Old Jan 23, '08, 5:12 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckers View Post
There are two types of so-so Catholics
CEO- Christmas and Easter Only
Alms- Only on days when they are giving things away (Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday)
We call the latter A&P's Many of the churches around here run just a Liturgy of the Word and give the ashes after the homily, because no one stays for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
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  #11  
Old Jan 23, '08, 5:15 pm
Pong Pong is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Make it an easier acronym-
P- Palm Sunday
A- Ash Wednesday
C- Christmas
E- Easter

PACE Catholics. See?
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  #12  
Old Jan 24, '08, 3:24 pm
neophyte neophyte is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Glycerine might work as well.
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  #13  
Old Jan 25, '08, 1:35 am
Leopard Leopard is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by neophyte View Post
Glycerine might work as well.
I was thinking that, or possibly lanolin. One concern I have is that if we add any kind of oil we don't want it to react with the ash and get soapy. I'll get some of the palms this weekend, burn them, and try all of these. We'll see what happens.
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  #14  
Old Jan 25, '08, 6:01 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamrefreshed View Post
That's funny. My priest says they get more people on Ash Wednesday than on Holy Days of Obligation!

I guess that's because they are giving something away?!?!
no collection either
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  #15  
Old Jan 25, '08, 11:46 am
Seatuck Seatuck is offline
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Default Re: Ashes for Ash Wednesday

Leopard , call up your Diocese and get the "recipe" they use. I've never seen ashes without the oil to hold it together . I'm surprised your Priest doesn't have a book of some kind with directions for this.
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