Ash Wednesday drive-through returns to Carmel United Methodist Church


Carmel United Methodist Church makes Ash Wednesday easy for those on the go.

For the fourth year, the church will offer an Ash Wednesday drive-through blessing from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Feb. 26 at the church, 621 S. Range Line Rd. It is open to the public, not just Carmel United Methodist members.

CIC COM 0225 Ash Wednesday
Jim Shirey places ashes on Betsy Pope during the 2019 event. (Submitted photo)

“Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” said Jennifer Hampton, the church’s communications and media specialist. “Last year, we had about 30 people come through. People, because of work or busy lives, couldn’t get a way to an Ash Wednesday service, but they still want to start off Lent with a blessing.”

Hampton said signs will direct motorists to the front of the church under a covered area, where they will roll down the window when it is their turn.

“A couple of lay ministers will give them the ashes, a blessing and a quick prayer and then you keep on going with your morning, whether it’s going to work or taking children to school,” Hampton said. “They hand them information with anything that is going on for Lent and Easter at our church.”

Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance, when Christians display their devotion to God. The ashes are placed in the shape of a cross.

The ashes are from the palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

“A couple of days before Ash Wednesday, our youth group burns those branches that have been blessed from the year before,” Hampton said.

Carmel United Methodist has a 30-minute service at noon and a 6:30 p.m. service on Ash Wednesday.