Ash Wednesday

Turn to God’s enduring love on February 14th.

You Are God’s Beloved

This year, Ash Wednesday is also Valentine’s Day.

The day we remember our humanity, our sins, our mistakes and limitations—that we are dust—is also the day we celebrate love in all its forms.

On February 14th, the Episcopal churches of Central New York invite you to remember God’s love for you.
No matter who you are.
No matter where you are on your journey of faith.
You are God’s beloved.


The Rev. Joell Szachara of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in New Hartford distributes ashes to employees of Utica’s Raspberries Cafe on Ash Wednesday 2017. 

Find Ashes

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All Ash Wednesday services take place on Wednesday, February 14th unless otherwise noted.

Plan Your Visit

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a season where Christians work to turn again toward God, preparing to observe Christ’s death and resurrection on Easter. When we are marked with ashes on Ash Wednesday, we remember our own limitations and brokenness and the healing and love that God offers us.

Ash Wednesday services are typically solemn and quiet. You will hear readings from Scripture and share in ancient prayers. You will have the option to receive the mark of ashes in the sign of a cross on your forehead. The priest or lay minister will say “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Whether you experience strong emotions or need a moment of quiet contemplation, there is room for you in our churches.

Some churches offer Ashes to Go as a reminder that need, humility and healing aren’t confined to church buildings. God is always ready to meet us where we are, in the midst of our daily life.

Children are welcome to church on Ash Wednesday and you may to talk with them beforehand about Ash Wednesday and Lent; here are some tips.

Observing Lent

Looking for ways to deepen your relationship with God and your neighbors this Lent? Check out these ideas, suitable for individuals and congregations alike.


Photo above by Natalie Collins on Unsplash.

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