Episcopal News Service has published a story on this year’s incarnations of the Ashes to Go practice that has been growing among churches of all denominations and worship spaces, including airports:
The Rev. Donna S. Mote, Episcopal chaplain at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, says she will offer “Ashes on the Fly” to domestic and international travelers throughout the day on Ash Wednesday.
“I’m out and about, which is my usual style,” said Mote, 51, who describes her parish as “4,700 acres, in a geographic sense,” through which pass an average of about 274,000 passengers on any given day.
If previous years are any indicator, she expects to impose ashes on hundreds of foreheads for people of a variety of faiths, nationalities and beliefs. She has described some of her encounters on Facebook.
“Ashes to Go,” as a name, has given rise to ideas including Drive-Through Ashes, Smudge on the Run and Lent in a Bag:
The Rev. Harry Jenkins, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Slidell, Louisiana, plans to offer ashes, prayers and “Lent in a Bag” to drive-through worshippers.
Included in the brown paper bag is: a copy of Episcopal Relief & Development’s 2016 Lenten Meditations, sand, a rock, a human figure, a candle and a cross, said Jenkins.
“With each of the items there’s a question or a slight description for them to think about what it means,” Jenkins said. “Basically, the sand is to reflect on Jesus going into the wilderness. The rock could be a couple of things—when Jesus was invited to transform stone into bread and about the hunger in the world and that we might pray for those who are hungry…”
The bag also includes a schedule of Lenten services, and last year 300 people came for ashes, most of them not members of Christ.
Photo from 2015 news roundup at the Diocese of Fort Worth.