I asked my friend C, who is Roman Catholic, whether she was able to make it to the Ash Wednesday service on campus (sponsored by the Catholic Student Association). She said she could not make it then and then shared this (quoted here with her permission):
I took Grace and Stefan to the 7:30 pm Mass at OLM [their local parish]. When Stefan heard that he had to go to church for this 'ash-head thing' as he put it, he was petrified. I finally figured out why. After he received the ashes he said, "So there was no fire with the ashes!?" in a tone of surprise and great relief. He then promptly fell asleep on the pew and didn't wake up until this morning.