Drive-thru Ash Wednesday allows religious worship with convenience

Posted: Updated:
NEW PROVIDENCE -

Looking to observe a religious holiday but don’t have much time for worship? A Union County church has a solution.

Today marked Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the Christian Lenten season leading up to Easter. Those who practice the religion receive ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross, while they embark on six weeks of reflection and sacrifice.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church featured a drive-thru option for those who wanted to observe the holiday, but did not have the time to attend a Mass.

The Catholic Church does not do drive-thru ashes – but News 12 New Jersey found many practicing Catholics who came to St. Andrew’s looking for the convenience. Some asked not to be filmed in case their parish priest was watching.

One of the clergy giving out the ashes Wednesday was Episcopal priest Michael Calandriello. He is a former Catholic priest who then went on to marry and join the Episcopal clergy.

St. Andrew's was one of about a half-dozen different churches in New Jersey offering drive-thru ashes. About 200 people attended the service last year. Clergy said that they were well on that pace again Wednesday afternoon.

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