CHESHIRE — For those on the go Wednesday, First Congregational Church offered ashes to worshipers from the convenience of their cars.
Anyone was welcome to drive up to the church from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m., park in the looped driveway, and receive ashes along with the centuries-old Ash Wednesday prayer, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
The interaction with pastors Alison McCaffrey and James Campbell took anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes, Campbell said. He said about 100 people drove up for ashes, most were not First Congregational members.
“Nearly every person who comes through expresses how thankful they are and how much they appreciate the opportunity,” Associate Pastor Alison McCaffrey said. “Many people come through with tears in their eyes.”
Some people took advantage of “Ashes on the Way” while on their way to work, to drop children off at school, or to the airport. Some came before visiting family members in the hospital, McCaffrey said.
“A couple people asked for an extra dose of ashes to share with someone at home that couldn’t get out,” Campbell said.
First Congregational, 111 Church Drive, has offered “Ashes on the Way” for four years. It started when a parishioner, who moved from Miami, shared that her local church had done the same.
“It’s a way to take something that people want from the church into the street and making it really easy for them to have it,” Campbell said. “There’s nothing being asked of you, you’re only being given something.”