Copy These #Ashtag Emoji and Special Characters for Your Ash Wednesday Tweets

Looking for the best #ashtag tweets to use this Lent? I’ve had some Twitter success on Ash Wednesday, including the tweet that made me Godfather of the #ashtag, Let’s see if we can keep Ash Wednesday trending. Try these ashmoji (Ash Wednesday emoji), or more precisely, ashmoticons (#ashtag emoticons) to share your faith this Lenten season.

Add this to your display name on Twitter and Instagram:

 ➕: -)

(this formatting makes a good comment, too)

[Website tips for Lent]

Ash Wednesday Ideas for Clever Tweets and Formatting

Classic celebrating stick figure for sticking to your Lenten promises:

`  +
<) )/ GOT
/ \
`   +
( (> MY
/ \
`  +
<) )> ASHES
/ \

A Cross built out of special characters, for the special character you will develop inside yourself this Lent:





Victory Bird:

‪    +‬


Happy Hands Guy:

.         +‬

Dancing Guy:

‘      +

Emoji Mr. Potato Head:


when I get my #ashtag on

‘ +

( •_•)>⌐■-■


Try a Twitter poll related to Lent:

How are you using emoticons and emoji this Lent? Give it a try and let us know what it looks like here or tag @markalves or @churchmojo.

#Ashtag 2015 – Official Meme of Ash Wednesday Masses

Can we top Ash Wednesday 2014 when we got #ashtag trending internationally with a meme of the Ellen selfie at the Oscar?

You’ve got two choices for 2015:

1) Left Shark and Katy Perry getting their ash on!

Square (great for Instagram)
Full size
Wide (2×1) for Twitter

2) Fifty Shades of Grey if you’re feeling a bit saucier.


Please share these and spread the word about the start of Lent. A bit of humor can be a great way of starting a deeper conversation.

Mass Madness Church Brackets


March Madness brackets for Catholics and church-goers. Who do you have going to the Faithful Four? (Click to enlarge)

Take an Ash Wednesday Selfie and Use #Ashtag

UPDATE: The BBC interviewed me once this started trending globally on Twitter. Just call me the Godfather of the #Ashtag +:-)

Want to spread the word about the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday? There are plenty of ways for your church to do so. And here’s an easy way for you and your friends to do so.

1. Take a selfie with your ashes.

2. Tag it #ashtag

3 Share on your favorite social channels.

Selfie on Ash Wednesday = #Ashtag
Selfie on Ash Wednesday = #Ashtag [square format, good for sharing on Instagram]

Now if you are giving up social media for Lent, this is the perfect way to go out in style while explaining your upcoming 40-day absence. And if you are taking on some #chsocm (church social media) during Lent, this works, too!

Selfie on Ash Wednesday? It's an #Ashtag
This one is optimized for sharing on Twitter since it’s sized 2×1.

Also check out FOCUS’s post: The 8 Types of Ashes You Might Get on Ash Wednesday!

Thanksgiving Prayers from Twitter – 2012 Edition

Thanksgiving is one of those days of the year where we should give thanks for our blessings. (The other 364.25 days are good choices, too.) As I’ve done before, here’s the 2012 round-up of Thanksgiving prayers from Twitter:

And lastly there’s a Thanksgiving Prayer from a Concord Pastor, which I tweeted so I could sneak it in here.

Perhaps these offered some inspiration for you this Thanksgiving. Take time to count your blessings and share them with others.

Linus’s Thanksgiving Prayer from Charlie Brown

Your Social Justice Ministry Leaders Are Live Tweeting the Presidential Debates, Right?

Election 2012 Panel at Social Media Week DC
Panel discussion at Social Media Week DC. Photo by Mark Alves

Are your church’s social justice leaders and volunteers taking a break from saving the world so they can watch the presidential debates?

Tell them not to bother unless they’re going to live tweet their reactions during the debates themselves. Why? Today’s micro news cycles survive on instant feedback. If your social justice team isn’t sharing their reactions immediately on Twitter then they’ve missed out on joining the national conversation.

Ridiculous or not, that’s one of the takeaways from the Election 2012 and the Fight for the Internet panel at the Washington Post during Social Media Week in DC.

Reporters are expected to file stories immediately after the debates. Thanks to Twitter, journalists can quickly get a sense of audience reactions and see whether other reporters are drawing similar conclusions right on the spot.

(The tweet above would have been much better if I had gotten political strategist Joe’s name right. So sorry, Mr. Trippi (@joetrippi).) He was one of the panelists along with Post reporter Karen Tumulty, SocialFlow VP of research and development Gilad Lotan, and Hitwise analyst Cristina Bell (no Twitter?). The event was facilitated by the Post’s national digital editor, Amanda Zamora.

Will your organization be part of that discussion? You’ve got a chance if you chime in on Twitter during these major political events.

What about Facebook? It sounds funny to say about a company that is often in the news for privacy controversies, but many of the posts on that channel are not set to public so those conversations are missed. Twitter posts, conversely, are public in most cases and make a better barometer of public opinion. Save Facebook for reaching your own audience rather than reporters.

The televised debates are here. Speak up. Retweet. Join in.

What Does #MassCheckIn Hashtag Mean?

It means it’s Pentecost Sunday. And the folks who brought you #baconless during Lent are back with another Catholic meme. Just like the apostles went forth regardless of language, you’re invited to evangelize whatever your preferred social network. So on Pentecost, check in using hashtag #MassCheckIn whether you’re on Facebook or Foursquare, and tag a photo on Flickr or Instagram. See more info about #MassCheckIn.