|The laundry did a good business what with the Episcopalians ashing all those white shirts on Wednesday.|
It is called “ashes to go” and the unusual Ash Wednesday service is spreading among Episcopal churches across the country.(The same church who gave you U2charist!)
Started five years ago in St. Louis, Mo.,(the liturgical epicenter of guitar Masses) by Rev. Teresa K. M. Danieley( hey, her name has initials in it! Like M Night Shyamalan!) at a roadway intersection(and then some street kids run up and ask for a dollar to clean it off and do your windshield as well!), Episcopalian clergy smudge the sign of the cross on the forehead of anyone who stops and cares to receive the customary religious symbol for the start of Lent.(Let some Catholic clergy touch people on the street....)
“It started sort of half-jokingly, but it became something pretty profound,”(oh man...from the profane to the profound?) Danieley told Religious News Service. “It's fulfilling a spiritual need (whose need? The smearer or the smeared?) but also a pragmatic need. It's showing flexibility in an institution often seen as very inflexible (the Episcopal Church inflexible? DUHUH?).”
Rev. Susan Esco Chandler, rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Amesbury, Mass., said it is a way to engage people in Ash Wednesday even if they can't attend the traditional church service (Going all Catholic here: Some things are meant to be done IN A CHURCH. Because that's the point. Come to the place where the Lord dwells!)
So she will stand outside her church on Ash Wednesday for the first time and dispense ashes to people on the go.
“I have members that can't make it to service in the evening or during the day because of either work or family obligations,” said Rev. Chandler. “I wanted to do something in the morning where they could drop by on their way to work."(Because some people, maybe even clergy in some areas, have things to do other than stand at redlights and rub ashes on people).
Yes, there is a website. For those too busy to get ashes on the street.