Pressed for Time on Ash Wednesday? There’s a ‘Drive-Thru’ Church for That
Glenamaddy, Ireland — Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the holy season of Lent for many Christians in the Western church.
Catholics and Protestants usually head inside their local church to receive ashes in the shape of a cross on their forehead.
But a church in Ireland decided to do something a little different to meet the needs of their on-the-go members — a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service.
“If you are unable to attend mass you can come here, receive your ashes without having to leave your car,” the church said in its weekly newsletter.
The church said they made the accommodation “for people who cannot attend mass who may be sick, find it difficult to walk, people on their way to work or families on their way to school.”
Photos posted on the Facebook page of the St. Patrick’s Church in the town of Glenamaddy in Ireland’s County Galway showed several cars lined up and Parish Priest Fr. Paddy Mooney blessing and distributing ashes to parishioners to mark Lent.
Father Mooney, who was unable to speak to CNN due to his busy schedule Wednesday, told the Irish Catholic Newspaper last week that a great parish is “always thinking of new things for the church.”
The church said the drive-thru idea was a success.
“Thanks to all involved for the reverent, respectful manner in which the distribution of ashes was carried out this morning,” it said.”There was a wonderful atmosphere and people were very complimentary.”
The drive-thru Ash Wednesday service concept is nothing new to Christians in Monroe County where Zion United Lutheran Church has been offering ashes to those on-the-go for years.