Ash Wednesday


This Ash Wednesday activity recognises that many disabled people - with a learning disability and/or a physical disability cannot join in with a verbal service, or indeed anything that requires writing, reading or physical involvement. This is an attempt to make it more visual, and hands-on, to the extent that many people even with a physical disability may be able to join in.

It takes some of the ideas from: Multi-Sensory Prayer, by Sue Wallace, Published by Scripture Union, 2000. ISBN 1 85999 465 2 page 13

The idea of burning things is a great one (!) but not in residential establishments with fire alarms linked to the fire station!  So we did away with the fire!

Also it is easy to focus on the negative on Ash Wednesday, so I have tried to turn it around a bit to focus on the positive.

A “Pass the Parcel” with one of the items on each layer as indicated below. Make it easy for someone with limited dexterity to open.

If you cannot get the actual items use pictures. Here is a PDF document with some pictures you can use.

If you do not have a PDF reader, one can be downloaded from these sites:

Some ashes. (Optional) Your background may make you decide to use those supplied by your church, but if this is not an issue to you, take some paper, cardboard, and perhaps some dry wood, and IN A SAFE PLACE (!) burn them to make enough ash. Then add, drop by drop, some Olive Oil, so you end up with a thick paste. The ashes are used at the end if you want to. I simply put a small thin dab on the back of the people's hands, with a simple explanation

The basic outline is here (Word Document)

This takes the form of a "Pass the Parcel" with things to look at and pray for and talk about in each level.

We have adapted this idea for a range of other activities!