I’ve been preparing the ashes for Ash Wednesday this afternoon. It’s quite an interesting process (at least, The Dog™ thought so as he supervised).
How to prepare ashes for Ash Wednesday…
- Collect in the palm crosses from last year from folk at church.
- Bake them (the crosses, not the folk at church) at 220 degrees centigrade for half an hour or so. This burns off the oils in the leaves so that they will burn to ashes when you start getting serious about burning them in step 3.
- Get serious about burning the palm crosses. In my case, this involved snipping them up, putting them in a foil tray out of the recycling, then setting about them with a kitchen blowtorch outside.
- Once they are pretty comprehensively burnt, grind them with a mortar and pestle.
- Add olive oil and stir it really well so the ash is mixed in completely.
- Pour it into a handy glass jar from the recycling.