On Ash Wednesday, over 72 people received ashes or prayers at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church’s Drive-Thru Ashes between 5 and 6 pm Ash Wednesday evening at the church campus on Pearson Lane in Southlake. St. Martin’s offered 12 pm and 7 pm worship in the church; Drive-Thru Ashes is an evangelical component that takes the ritual imposition of ashes outside the church into a busy community.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time of preparation before Easter. Wearing a smudge of ash, a symbol of our mortality, is a sign of penitence and humility.
Over 20 youth group members and their sponsors waved at drivers on Pearson Lane to invite them. Busy parents came with toddlers in pajamas and carseats. Adults and teenagers came, driving home from work or on to somewhere else. Youth group member Eleni S. explained, “When people come, we offer ashes and a prayer card that we made that has a key.” The youth encouraged people to give the key to someone who needs prayers and to ask them to continue a chain of prayers.
Not everyone has time for traditional worship in the middle of a week. One Keller man said, “I don’t have time to worship today. But I felt the love of God here in this invitation. Thank you.”
St. Martin’s youth clearly enjoy being engaged outside the church, waving at the roadside, greeting adults and children who drove through for ashes, and gently smearing a cross of ash on foreheads. They know their ministry touched peoples’ lives, too.
Don’t miss the photos of this group in action; flip through the slideshow below.