LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Harvest United Methodist Church on Wednesday morning -- Ash Wednesday -- offered "Drive-Thru Ashes" as a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition and its locations in Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Christian holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the forehead at the beginning of Lent as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God's forgiveness.
"Drive-Thru Ashes is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day," said the Rev. Emily Mellott, who maintains the website AshesToGo.org.