Drive-thru Ash Wednesday in the Poconos

CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- While some attended early services on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on their foreheads as a symbol of mortality, others opted for a more convenient method.

Zion United Lutheran Church near Brodheadsville held a drive-thru for ashes between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for those unable to attend services because of their work and family schedules.

"Oh, my gosh, how lovely. I would have never got them today if it wasn't for the drive-thru. She is a wonderful woman," Laura Giordano said.

For the last six years, Pastor Ann has offered "ashes to go." She says it helps the church reach the community they serve a bit easier.

"With the world being the way it is these days, we thought this was a good outreach for those folks. If you can't get to a service, this is at least a way to take a moment to observe the solemnity of the day," said Pastor Ann Merlot.

The pastor tells Newswatch 16, "drive-thru ashes" are not meant to replace services, but instead help those with busy schedules.

"People are so busy these days. A lot of folks tell me that they work two jobs, can't get to a service. I mean ideally you come to a worship service for ashes and we do have a service tonight at 7:30."

Catherine Baines from Sciota says she's been coming every year.

"If I have to go out on Ash Wednesday, I want to be able to get ashes. I think this is convenient especially on cold mornings and especially when you are old."

A second drive-thru service was held from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the church in Monroe County.

Ash Wednesday the start of the season of Lent for Christians.



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