Ashes available 'on the go' for Christians welcoming Lent - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ashes available 'on the go' for Christians welcoming Lent

Christ United Methodist Church is once gain offering Drive By Ashes in their parking lot at 1204 Crabapple Dr. in Shreveport. Christ United Methodist Church is once gain offering Drive By Ashes in their parking lot at 1204 Crabapple Dr. in Shreveport.
Grace Community Methodist Church is also taking their Ash Wednesday service to the streets, in what they're describing as a "flash mob" service. Grace Community Methodist Church is also taking their Ash Wednesday service to the streets, in what they're describing as a "flash mob" service.
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

Most Christians will attend special Ash Wednesday church services around the ArkLaTex, but some are getting their blessings on the go.

Christ United Methodist Church is once gain offering Drive By Ashes in their parking lot at 1204 Crabapple Dr. in Shreveport.

Those receiving the blessing will pull up to the curb and roll down their window. A brief prayer is said, then clergy members mark their foreheads with the ashes.

That "roadside service" was offered Wednesday morning from 11 to 1. It will resume at 2 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m.

Associate Pastor AnnaKate Rawles says "We understand that folks have wild and crazy schedules and that some people cannot physically get into the church for an Ash Wednesday service. So this year, we will continue our Drive By Ashes where folks can drive up, get a blessing and ashes, and continue on with their day."

Father Bill McBride of St. Matthias Episcopal Church also distributed drive-through ashes Wednesday morning at the corner of Corner and Spring and Texas streets in front of the Blind Tiger restaurant and bar.

Most say the blessing isn't a replacement for the traditional Ash Wednesday service, but most clergy agree that it can only expand awareness of the day.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, priests and clergy usually place blessed ashes in form of the cross on individuals' foreheads to remind them of mortality, sorrow for sins, change, and forgiveness.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for Christians.

It is traditionally a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for receiving or reaffirming baptism at Easter. Church officials say it's a time to prepare for the remembrance of Jesus' death and the celebration of his resurrection. For some Christians, Lent is a time to think about one's life choices and mortality, as well as reflect on life directions.

The practice of marking foreheads with ashes is common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Episcopalians.

Grace Community Methodist Church is also taking their Ash Wednesday service to the streets, in what they're describing as a "flash mob" service.

They gathered in the Red River District in downtown Shreveport just after noon Wednesday, offering the ashes for anyone passing by.

At 6 p.m., they'll be back out in three other locations doing the same thing:

  • Betty Virginia Park in the 3900 block of Fairfield Ave. in Shreveport
  • Strawn's Eat Shop, 2235 Airline Drive in Bossier City
  • Grace Community UMC, 9400 Ellerbe Road.

Get the agenda for these "flash mobs" here: http://gracehappens.org/ash-wednesday-2014/

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