In this time of social distancing, St. David’s Church at 3951 Seneca St. at the Southgate Plaza will observe Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17 by offering drive-through Lent-Kits-To-Go.
Ash Wednesday marks for Christians the beginning of the penitential Lenten season in which they follow Jesus along his final journey toward the cross. Concerned that traditional imposition of ashes (which requires a minister to apply ashes directly to the recipient’s forehead with his or her thumb) would be unsafe given current social distancing recommendations, St. David’s leadership opted for a different way to mark the Lenten season. This year, that means dispensing Lent-Kits-To-Go during drive-through hours from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The kits will contain a pebble or touchstone, handcrafted and infused with ashes to serve as a pocket-sized daily reminder of the season of penitence. Also included are printed prayer resources and activities, and links to online worship and programming.
Bishop Sean Rowe, who leads both the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York and the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, has suspended in-person worship since November when a second wave of coronavirus began impacting our region. In response, St. David’s has gotten creative, using Zoom and Facebook to reach congregation members and others in the community.
Those who come on Ash Wednesday will drive through and receive their Lent-Kit-To-Go from a masked volunteer and may request a healing prayer and blessing.