A much less formal Ash Wednesday service took place on the Fresno State campus. But the location of the service did not detract from the seriousness of purpose among the students.
They slowly trickled in from class, from studying, or the parking lot, giving up their noon hour to observe Ash Wednesday. In the Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican churches, Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent.
"It goes back to the ancient Hebrew days when they wore sackcloth and ashes," Bill Lucido said. "And it's to remind us to wear a sign that we're in a time of penance. Preparing for Easter, 40 days of Lent."
It's the third year the Catholic Student Association has organized an Ash Wednesday service at the satellite student union.
The time and the location of the service make it convenient for both faculty and students. But organizer Dani Manghera says though the service is informal and convenient, the students are serious about their faith.
Manghera explained, "Most people I've come across are still connected to their catholic faith, and they do attend events like Ash Wednesday and they maintain their practice."
Though they missed their lunch... they were filled with spiritual food.