Drive-Up Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Drive-Up Ashes on Ash Wednesday
Image from Flickr by Sarah (Rosenau) Korf
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In a development of the Advent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Upper Arlington, Ohio, the clergy are offering drive-up ashes.


The ash is applied to the foreheads of the people stopping by in the parking lot of the church.

This practice takes place for two hours on Ash Wednesday.

ash SarahRosenauKorf Drive Up Ashes on Ash Wednesday
Image from Flickr by Sarah (Rosenau) Korf

Rev. Aaron Layne declared this practice of drive-by service to be a first in the church. According to Rev. Aaron, the congregation is supportive of this practice.

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He told The Columbus Dispatch, ““It’s following what Jesus said to do,” Advent Evangelical’s pastor, the Rev. Aaron Layne, said. “Jesus never waited for everybody to come to him. He went to people.”

The Facebook users criticized him and said that it is a cheap practice for the observance, marking the commencement of Lent for the Christians.

However, Layne has his own arguments. He sees this as a chance of homecoming of people who avoided going to church for years.

Other Churches

Other churches have employed a different and informal approach towards Ash Wednesday. The genesis of the trend, “Ashes to Go” movement started in 2007, with applying of ashes carried out to 100 passersby outside a coffeehouse in Missouri.

It was Rev. Teresa K.M. Danieley of St. John’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis who coined the term.

The practice soon penetrated the other parts of the world. The website provides lists of the quick ash distribution services in a number of states and provinces across the world.

The spread is often seen as peculiar and ethereal as reprimanded in the social networking sites by a large number of users. This practice is often seen as cheap, subjecting to nothing but resorting to publicity gimmicks and making the church famous.

Catholics have their foreheads marked with ashes every Ash Wednesday, the commencement of their Lenten Season.