A Chelsea church is offering a "drive through" Ash Wednesday blessing for local residents pressed for time or reluctant to come inside the church for the Lenten observance.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which concludes after 40 days with the celebration of Easter. During Ash Wednesday, Christians traditionally have a smudged cross drawn on their forehead while being blessed with the words, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Pastor David Glaser said the church has been offering drive-through ashes for several years.
"It's a reminder that we are all mortal, it reminds us to come back to the church and to God, and it's in the spirit of repentance," Gleaser told the Detroit News.
He said the idea of "ashes to go" is catching on with Christians all over the country. Last year, Glaser administered ashes to 22 motorists.
"It might seem to some folks a little flippant, but to the people who were getting a need met, it was important," he said.
Holy Faith Christian Church in Saline is also offering the service to drivers for the second year in a row.
Pastor Ian Twiss told MSN.com that he supports the service as a way to reconnect with Christians outside of the church.
"The idea of offering others a ritual freely really appealed to me last year — the church needs to get outside its own walls and engage people," he said.
Holy Faith Christian Church will offer ashes from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the church's parking lot. For more information, call 734-429-2991.