From California to Connecticut, Christian churches across the U.S. are distributing ashes to drive-through customers this Ash Wednesday, March 6.
Inspired by a national “Ashes to Go” movement, a Southern California Episcopal church is distributing ashes to drivers who don’t even have to get out of their cars, the Inland Daily Bulletin reports:
“On Wednesday, March 6, Upland residents will be able to get something beyond coffee and an egg sandwich: At St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, they’ll be able to get ashes and prayer for Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of Lent, the six-week period of penitence leading up to Easter in most denominations of Christianity.”
“The drive-thru ashes program is inspired by a national “Ashes to Go” movement at churches around the country. On Wednesday, ashes will be available at public transportation stops, shopping centers and other places where people congregate.”
At one church in North Branford, Connecticut, drivers can also get coffee and donuts with their ashes, WTNH reports:
“The North Branford Congregational Church is calling it ‘Ash on Your Dash.’ They say it is an opportunity for people to receive ashes, coffee, donuts and congregational hospitality on their way to work.”
Louisiana’s WWLTV reports that the program was so popular at one United Methodist church that it had to relocate its ash-distribution hub because the traffic back-up was blocking an interstate:
“Ministers at Munholland United Methodist Church will begin passing out ashes to motorists. All drivers have to do is pull up and roll down their car windows.”
“The church then moved the event to its back parking lot after it became so popular that a line of cars blocked the interstate.”
In St. Louis, Missouri, “Ash and Dash” churches say ash reception is “open to the public and attendees do not have to be church members to participate,” reports local station Fox2Now.