I know some Episcopal priests who 'take to the streets' on Ash Wednesday to offer ashes at shopping malls and train stations. I like a little theater and cheer them on. I'm not sure I would do it, but not because it seems 'aggressive' but because I think there should be some liturgy.
We used to give out ashes all day in the chapel at St. John's, Waterbury on the hour and half-hour. But we had a confession and someone would say a little about why we wear ashes at the beginning of Lent. Not a full service by any means but a little more structured than random ashing....
But the Congregational church here in Cheshire is offering (no kidding!) 'drive through' ashing. Just pull your car in front of the church, roll down your window, take off your sock hat and someone will ash you right up. I've often joked about 'drive through communion' but it was always in jest. But the Congregationalists aren't kidding!
But here's the question behind why they would offer drive through ashes--what in the hell are Congregationalists doing with ashes in the first place? I didn't realize how high church they've become since I haven't been paying attention.
Maybe I'll give the congregationalist church here in town some holy water and incense too....
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