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Faithful Houstonians no longer have an excuse for missing Ash Wednesday services.

For Catholics and Episcopalians, Ash Wednesday is an important observation of the start of Jesus Christ‘s 40-day fast in the desert.

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Busy schedules, however, can stir congregants to guilt and frustration should their employers or other obligations prevent them from attending liturgy or other church functions. Until now.

A number of churches, including Houston’s Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church and Spring’s Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, are now offering drive through services in which parishioners can partake of the ashes right from the seat of their car.

A priest will apply the ashes to the forehead while standing curbside, an echo of Near Eastern tradition which signifies repentance before God.

Too Busy to Be Blessed? More Catholics, Episcopalians Opting for Ashes to Go  was originally published on