Baylor will host Ash Wednesday service to mark the beginning of Lent

While Baptist in our roots, the faith community at Baylor University is widespread. Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and prayer which marks the beginning of Lent in Western Christianity.

Houston junior, Paige Thumann says it surprises her that Baylor would commemorate Ash Wednesday, but she’s glad they are.

“I’m glad they are recognizing a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church. It makes me proud to be Catholic and proud that my school is willing to include our faith in this way,” Thumann said.

The season of Lent symbolizes the 40 days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert, fighting temptation from Satan. In reflection of this, many Christians give up certain indulgences throughout the 40 days of Lent in order to devote more time to their prayers and allow God to become their main focus.

Dallas senior Katelynn Brady says that although she’s not Catholic, she appreciates Baylor’s willingness to recognize different facets of the Christian faith.

“Anything like that is going to bring the Baylor community together and give students a chance to express their faith,” Brady said.

Carlos Colón, coordinator of worship initiatives, said that while Ash Wednesday has been celebrated for centuries by our traditional brothers and sisters, it is only recently that Protestants have begun to take part in this commemoration that starts with the observance of Lent.

“We have seen more and more people in our Baylor and Waco communities participate in Ash Wednesday observances,” Colón said.

In accordance with a need for Ash Wednesday services, Baylor will be observing their own services on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Baylor Spiritual Life will lead 20- minute services at Elliston chapel at both 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. From 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will also be ministers available to administer ashes for those students or community members who wish to partake. The Chapel will be open for those who want to pray and seek time with God throughout this momentous day.