Writing in the (Duke) Chronicle, Chapel Dean Luke Powery sees a connection between the ashes caused by the fires of war, like the one in Ukraine, and the ashes administered on the foreheads of people attending Ash Wednesday services.
"The mark on foreheads on Ash Wednesday reveals our common humanity and shows that we are more alike than different," he writes. "Ashes on the forehead are also a sign of mourning, which is a proper response to insane war."
"At our core, we are fragile human beings, so why seek to war against others when we already know that we are delicate ashes?" he says. "We don’t need to make more ashes through the violence of weaponry. Ashes versus ashes makes no sense when we are of the same human family."