I too appreciate your comments. We as chaplains bring our religious tradition with us as we embrace those of other traditions. I want to remind everyone the imposition of ashes is not just a Catholic thing. Many mainline denominations have Ash Wednesday services and do the imposition of ashes. When I was a hospital chaplain I had no conflict doing with important ritual. In fact many found it quite meaningful. We need to remember the Catholic Church doesn’t have the corner on rituals.