I am curious as to why only Mass is offered on Ash Wednesday as a way to receive ashes and was wondering if anyone could tell me.
A little personal history. I remember as a child receiving ashes, but it wasn't as part of a Mass. I did fall away form the Church for several years, only coming back six years ago when I found out I was pregnant. So there is a gap of time when some things in the Church changed (and it's very obvious to me).
I checked with my mother and she said confirmed that "years ago" there usually wasn't a Mass, just the ashes at a certain time or times (with some prayer). Basically like I remembered.
Since it's not a Holy Day of Obligation, I often don't make it for ashes on Ash Wednesday (it very hard for me to get off work and to Church in the middle of the week so I rather save days off for Holy Days of Obligation). But this year I really wanted to go and bring my daughter since she's been very curious about Lent and Easter (she's 5-years-old) and I am trying to teach her the basics.
I looked around but all the Catholic Churches in my area were only doing Mass. So we just went to the latest Mass at our own Church (it was the one Mass I could make after work and school). Masses at our Church tend to last well over an hour and Ash Wednesday Masses were no exception--in fact they ran extra long. The Homily was great, but extra long as well. The whole time I had a very tired and whiny child on my hands who ended up going to bed over an hour late. What I wanted to be a pleasant and fulfilling experience for my daughter ended up not being so. I kept wishing they offered another option and wondered why they changed things.
Anyone know why things changed? Or is my memory (and my Mom's) faulty? By the way, her Church only offered full Masses as well. Is it just my area or do most Churches do a full Mass for ashes now (the area where I live now isn't where I grew up)?