Episcopal churches set Ash Wednesday rites
Two local churches have scheduled Ash Wednesday observances next week:
• The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Andrew will offer "imposition of ashes" Wednesday at its 7 a.m. communion service; 11:45 a.m. sung eucharist, and evensong at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 524-2822.
• The Episcopal Parish of St. Clement in Makiki has scheduled services at noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter, is the first day of Lent — following Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday"). It is a day of fasting and repentance.
Ash Wednesday is so-named for the the centuries-old ceremonial use of ashes, a symbol of penitence, in the early Christian church. The custom is still retained in the modern Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican, Episcopal and Lutheran churches and others.
The ashes, obtained by burning the remains of the palm branches blessed on the previous Palm Sunday, are placed in a vessel on the altar and consecrated before High Mass. The priest then dips his thumb in the ashes, and marks the faithful as they kneel, with the sign of the cross on the forehead.
JAPAN HANDBELL CHOIR PERFORMING NEXT WEEK
The internationally known all-female handbell choir of Hakuoh University in Japan, has scheduled two public performances as part of its 19th annual Goodwill Tour of Hawai'i:
• Tuesday: 7 p.m., United Church of Christ, 467 N. Judd St..
• Wednesday: 7 p.m., Windward Community College, Palikū Theatre, Kāne'ohe.
The 16-member choir, which has the capacity to ring seven octaves of handbells, will perform a range of selections, from classical standards, including Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" to contemporary hits from the musical, "The Lion King." The concerts are free. For more information, call 956-0321.
LUTHERAN CHURCH YOUTH TO PERFORM FOR BENEFIT
The youth of Lutheran Church of Honolulu will present a benefit on Feb. 20 for Heifer International.
The nonprofit organization works to end world hunger by giving food and income-producing livestock to impoverished families worldwide.
For the past five years, children of the congregation have raised $20,000 with an annual concert of piano, organ, violin, cello, singing, hula and dramatic monologues. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For more information, call 941-2566.
KOREAN ABBOT TO LECTURE ON SEON BUDDHISM
The Venerable Jigwang, abbot of Nungin Sunwon seminary in South Korea, will lecture on practices associated with the Seon school of Buddhism at 4 p.m. Thursday at the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa.
Jigwang has degrees in English language and literature, as well as Zen and religious studies. He has lectured throughout the United States and France, and has published extensively in the field of Buddhist Studies.
His lecture will be held at the UH Center for Korean Studies auditorium, and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 956-7041.