'Drive-Thru Ashes' Offered On First Day Of Lent For Busy Tulsans
TULSA, Oklahoma - Wednesday is the first day of Lent, also known as Ash Wednesday.
The day usually involves a church service where people receive ashes on their forehead, but a full church service on a workday isn't always convenient, which is why some participated in a speedier way.
People at Trinity Episcopal Church participated in the first “ashes to go” Ash Wednesday. It was for folks who wanted to begin Lent a certain way but couldn't do a full church service in the middle of the day.
"Many people have said this is really good for them since they couldn't get away from work that long or they have to pick-up kids, and we had one woman come by who was in her car with crutches and said this was a blessing for her because she had trouble getting out of her car," Reverent Kristi Maulden said.
Next door at First Baptist Church, Pastor Eric Costanzo presided over a series of short devotionals with ashes for those who wanted them.
"We've decided to follow in the tradition of some of our other downtown churches, and offer services during the lunch hour," Costanzo said.
Once you get the ashes there are no rules about how long you wear them, but most do for the rest of the day as an expression of faith and penance.
The ashes come from the left over palms from the last Palm Sunday.
"The palms are burned and become the ashes for Ash Wednesday," Maulden said.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which is 40 days dedicated to reflection and prayer in preparation for Easter.
Maulden said it's like spring cleaning for our spirit.
"Getting rid of the clutter, ready for God to come in in a new way," she said.
In each case, the churches report the new additions to Ash Wednesday observances were very successful.