IWU News Advisory

Contact Taylar Kuzniar 309/556-3181

January 31, 2005

Event: University Chapel Hour and Special Events and Services presents: All University Ash Wednesday Service

Date: Feb. 9 (Wednesday)

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Evelyn Chapel

1301 N. Park St., Bloomington

Admission: Free and open to the public

Background: The celebration of Ash Wednesday will be led by Rev. Howard Bruce Bowlin, rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bloomington.

Originating in circa A.D. 900, Ash Wednesday is a Christian holiday held 40 days before Good Friday during which a priest makes the sign of the cross on the foreheads of each celebrant. The worshippers typically leave the marks on their foreheads until after sundown as a symbol of human mortality and a reminder of prayer, humility, and repentance.

The ashes, a symbol of mourning and penance are made from burnt palm fronds from the previous year's Palm Sunday. The ashes are then sprinkled with holy water, scented with incense, and blessed by a priest. When rubbed onto the forehead in the shape of the cross, the ashes are a sign of ownership to Jesus Christ.

Father Bowlin has a Master of Divinity degree from The Protestant Episcopal Seminary in Alexandria, Va. and served in the Marine Corps for 20 years as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Band, where he was head of the music production staff.

Contact: For additional information, contact the Illinois Wesleyan Chaplain's office at (309) 556-3005.