In an increasingly busy society, much is done to make everyday errands easier for people, from drive-through fast food restaurants to drive-through vaccine clinics and mobile veterinary and car repair services.
Now the religious community plans to take advantage of such a service with Ashes to Go.
On Feb. 13, Ash Wednesday, New Light Lutheran Church and the Patapsco-Lodge Forest Cooperative Parish United Methodist Church will offer ashes at three different community stations for drivers who wish to stop and receive them, according to a statement from the churches.
"We believe that God is not confined inside a church building," the Rev. Krist Kunkel, pastor of New Light Lutheran, said in the statement. "There are many barriers that keep people from coming to church, but nothing can stop all of the ways that God is already reaching with grace, love, healing and forgiveness to people."
"People today are busier than we have ever been," the Rev. Bonnie McCubbin, pastor of Patapsco and Lodge Forest churches, said in the statement. "But God is moving to meet us in the middle of our busy lives right in the middle of our everyday schedules. Ashes to Go are a moment of holiness in the midst of busy days."
The tradition of being marked with the sign of the cross in ash began in the Middle Ages, according to information provided by the pastors. Ashes are a sign of penitence and mortality and are received at the beginning of Lent as a sign of repentance for sin and a reminder of the healing and forgiveness of Christ, they said.
Busy residents can receive ashes at the following stations, where clergy and congregation members will be on hand to provide them to anyone who wishes to stop and receive them:
- 7 to 9 a.m. in front of Patapsco United Methodist Church, 7800 Wise Ave.
- 1 to 2 p.m. at the Food Lion on North Point Road in Edgemere
- 4 to 6 p.m. in front of New Light Lutheran Church, 2120 Dundalk Ave.