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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Delaney Vega, a TCU journalism junior, is painting a school in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)
“The week of joy”: Christ Chapel College’s annual trip to Belize
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Apr 23, 2024
174 students, a record number, went on this year's trip.

Robert Carr Chapel held an Ash Wednesday service on Valentine’s Day

People+sit+in+the+pews+of+Robert+Carr+Chapel+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+14+for+Ash+Wednesday+service.+%28Aliyah+Howell%2FStaff+Photographer%29
Aliyah Howell
People sit in the pews of Robert Carr Chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 14 for Ash Wednesday service. (Aliyah Howell/Staff Photographer)

For many, Valentine’s Day was overshadowed by Ash Wednesday, the start of 40 days of reflection for Christians that concludes with Easter. 

Midday worshippers flocked to Robert Carr Chapel to have a cross drawn on their foreheads with palm ashes as a reminder of mortality and to symbolize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

Ash Wednesday attendees go up to the front of Robert Carr Chapel to receive their ashes from the chaplain. (Aliyah Howell/Staff Photographer)

Rev. Lauren Sierra, an assistant chaplain at TCU, led the welcome and invocation.

“One of my favorite things about Ash Wednesday is the beauty of seeing people of all ages, students, staff, faculty, and people from all different walks of life,” Sierra said. “The fact that we are all gathering in the same space in completely different walks of life, and yet we’re all receiving ashes on our head shows something beautifully communal.”

In addition to the distribution of ashes, the service included student-led hymns, community confession and preachings on the importance of Ash Wednesday. 

The dominant religion on TCU’s campus is Catholicism, and Catholics traditionally observe Ash Wednesday. However, in recent years, other Christian denominations have adopted the practice.

Sydney Moltrum, a sophomore TCU criminal justice major, attended the service at the chapel with her friend Rosie Khule, a sophomore TCU nursing major. 

“I do appreciate that TCU provides an Ash Wednesday service,” Moltrum said, “being surrounded by peers and faculty today was a moving experience for me.”

Sophomore TCU students Rosie Khule (left) and Sydney Moltrum (right) stand outside of Robert Carr Chapel after receiving their Ash Wednesday ashes. (Aliyah Howell/Staff Photographer)

“I enjoy walking around campus with ashes on my forehead. I feel like I can relate to people I have never even met because I know that we share the same faith,” Khule added.

Drawing on the themes of Valentine’s Day, Rev. Todd Boling, the university chaplain at TCU, acknowledged what it looks like to be loved by God within the TCU community, Sierra said.

Ash Wednesday may have had unique circumstances this year, but it did not stop people from attending the chapel’s services.

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