New Jersey churches observe socially distant Ash Wednesday Mass

Ash Wednesday Mass across New Jersey looked a little different this year during the pandemic.
At Saint Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, ashes were distributed in the church parking lot with a Q-Tip. It was a safe and socially distant way to kick off Lent.
“We have found that many people are still hesitant to come into church buildings. And so, we wanted as many people to be able to mark the beginning of Lent as possible,” says Father John Aheme. “We decided to have an ash distribution outside in the parking lot. People can either walk up or drive up in their cars."
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the fasting period before Easter Sunday.